Written by Alyssa Walker

The Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, United Kingdom, wants to cut all excess sugar from school cafeterias.

They say it contributes to the public health crisis, with one-third of children suffering from dental decay, and three in ten being overweight or obese.

According to the BBC, Faculty Dean, Professor Graham Ogden, said, "We fully support the positive intention of these proposed regulations, but we feel that the Scottish government should take a bolder approach if it's to ensure that our young people have the healthiest possible start in life."

The faculty wants to replace desserts with fruit or soup.

Professor Ogden said, "For example, we all agree that children should have greater access to more fruit and vegetables as part of their school day, but increasing access does not necessarily increase consumption.

"The guidance must include an evidence-based plan to ensure any increase in provision also ensures that our young people consume larger amounts of healthier food during school meals.

"We also know that diet drinks cause dental erosion, in addition to being a gateway to sugar. We should aim to ensure that our children's oral health gets off to the best possible start in life."

A spokesperson for the Scottish government said it would consider the faculty's suggestions.

They said, "We want to make sure every pupil is equipped with the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to make better health choices and live longer healthier lives.

"This commitment is supported by a package of measures including Curriculum for Excellence and Better Eating, Better Learning.

"Schools have a key role to play but it is vital that we all provide consistent messages to children and young people as they learn how to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing."

Learn more about studying dentistry in the UK.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
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