A holistic food labelling strategy for preventing obesity and dental caries

Authors


AB Cinar, Department of Oral Public Health, Institute of Dentistry, University of Helsinki, PO Box 41, 00014 FIN, Helsinki, Finland. E-mail: basak.cinar@helsinki.fi

Summary

Obesity and dental caries in childhood are among the major public health concerns described as a global pandemic because of their global distribution and severe consequences. A consensus has developed as to a recently emerging and alarming common risk factor that leads to the double burden of dental caries and obesity; energy-dense foods (sugar-coated cereals, high-sugar yogurt, soft drinks) are becoming very popular among children because of their dense marketing, cheaper price, increased supply and variety. Implementation of health-promoting and -supporting marketing strategies for healthy food can be one initial cornerstone for successful application of the common risk factor approach in prevention of obesity and dental caries, as also suggested by World Health Organization. Labelling healthy food with a ‘health-friendly’ logo, illustrating that the teeth and the heart are both parts of the whole body (standing side by side supporting each other as close friends), both happy and protected because of consumption of healthy food for the whole body, can promote the foods that are friendly to health of the whole body, implementing the common risk factor approach under a single theme. Labelling healthy food as ‘health-friendly’ based on an international consensus will provide a clear and uniform picture of what is healthy to eat and result in an international integrated programme for prevention of obesity and caries.

Ancillary