CDAA Position Statement – Nutritional Labelling
Canadian Dental Assistants Association
The Canadian Dental Assistants’ Association (CDAA) believes that accurate nutritional labelling of food and beverages is important to improving the oral and overall health of Canadians and assisting Canadians to make healthy food choices.
The CDAA supports the:
- Efforts of the Government of Canada to revise healthy eating guidelines and improve the rules for marketing and labelling food.
- Efforts of the Government of Canada to ensure healthy eating advice, food labelling and marketing is clear and practical.
The CDAA recommends the following:
- That dental assistants participate in the public consultation process currently underway by Health Canada (http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-system-systeme-sante/consultations/foodguide-guidealimentaire/index-eng.php).
- That dental assisting organizations work collaboratively to provide feedback to the Government of Canada on the revisions to the Canada food guide from an oral health perspective.
Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. Sugars in food and drinks play a major role in the development of dental caries. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth using sugar from foods and drinks to produce acids that dissolve and damage the teeth. The more sugar present in the mouth, the more acid is produced, thereby resulting in an increase in enamel erosion and ultimately an increase in dental caries.
On March 4, 2015, the World Health Organization issued a guideline recommending that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits. These guidelines are based on analysis of the latest scientific evidence and is supported by evidence showing higher rates of dental caries when the intake of free sugars is above 10% of total energy intake compared with an intake of free sugars below 10% of total energy intake.
There is a need for public health interventions to raise awareness to assist Canadians with making healthy food choices given the numerous studies from around the globe that have demonstrated a relationship between sugar consumption and deteriorated overall and oral health. Examples of these interventions include, but not limited to, amending the requirements associated with nutrition labelling of food products and the marketing of certain foods aimed at children. CDAA supports the Government of Canada announcement of October 24, 2016 and the commitment it has shown to addressing the recommendations put forward by the WHO to raise awareness and assist Canadians with making healthy food choices as a critical component to ensuring lifelong oral and overall health.
Guideline: Sugars intake for Adults and Children. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2015
Consultation on Canada’s Food Guide. Department of Health. Government of Canada. 2016
What is Sugar? Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. Open-sourced online directives. 2016