Sugar Tax

6 April 2018

A sugar tax applies to soft drinks from today.

The first is a tax on the total sugar content of drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml (taxed on point of production or importation at a cost of 18p per litre), and the second, a higher tax (24p per litre) on those drinks with 8g or more sugar per 100ml.

Drinks manufacturers have responded to these measures in one of two ways: by reducing the sugar content of their drinks – in some cases replacing it with sweeteners – or by proposing price increases to account for the levy.

Although sugar is notorious as an enemy of dental health, another food ingredient could also be damaging your teeth: phosphoric acid. Found in carbonated cola drinks, phosphoric acid is thought to be the second most abundant food additive in the food industry. Due to its high acidity level, phosphoric acid may erode enamel and make your teeth more prone to decay. Diet drinks are therefore potentially just as harmful to your teeth( not to mention the artificial sweeteners).

Effect

When low-pH foods with phosphoric acid make contact with your teeth, your enamel begins to dissolve and soften, paving the path to decay. Softened tooth enamel can promote plaque formation, which then leads to further enamel erosion. If damage from phosphoric acid becomes severe, erosion may spread under your enamel and into the layer of dentine below, causing sensitivity and toothaches.

Solution

You can reduce the impact of phosphoric acid on your teeth by changing the way you consume soda and other foods with this ingredient. Drink through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth, rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking soda, limiting your soda intake to one serving per day, and drinking phosphoric acid-containing beverages only at mealtime. In addition, drinking soda quickly rather than sipping it slowly can reduce the exposure phosphoric acid has with your teeth.

Considerations

Although you can take measures to protect your teeth from phosphoric acid in beverages, you may want to avoid such drinks for other reasons .Fizzy drinks typically contain additive dye, caffeine and large amounts of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which provides empty calories without any nutrition. Even sugar-free sodas may be mildly addictive if they contain caffeine. In addition, MayoClinic.com notes that sodas may be linked to kidney stones, other forms of kidney disease, high blood pressure, excess weight gain in the midsection and insulin resistance. Choosing beverages without phosphoric acid, such as milk or fruit juice, can help you avoid damage from soda while also obtaining more vitamins and minerals.

Here is a thought

Will manufacturers of tomato ketchup, breakfast cereal, fruit yogurt , biscuits, chocolates cakes ,processed foods and baby formula milk now consider reducing  the sugar content in their products?