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Central Western Daily Media Coverage: ADA NSW Board Member Dr Tim McAnulty on limiting the intake of sugary drinks

3 July 2020
The Central Western Daily

Reporter: Erika Vass
Photo Credit: Jude Keogh
 
As gyms reopen and sports events kick-start, research shows one 600ml bottle of an energy drink can contain nine teaspoons of sugar.
 
Orange-based dentist and Australian Dental Association NSW Board member Dr Tim McAnulty said he has seen patients at his private practice who have consumed sugary drinks as refreshments which has caused dental damage.
 
"More than 7,000 adult patients in the Western Local Health District, including Orange, are currently waiting treatment in the public dental system which could have been prevented with good oral hygiene and limiting the intake of sugary drinks," he said. "A lot of the sports drinks and sugar-free drinks have hidden sugars and caffeine which is not only damaging the teeth but also to the patient's general health. "This includes potentially being a high risk patient of type 2 diabetes, obesity and other general health problems."
 
According to the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, between 2017 and 2018, there were 273 bed days 'lost' in Orange due to potentially preventable hospitalisations for dental related conditions. Dr McAnulty added a study by the University College of London stated poor oral health of elite athletes is common and is associated with negative performance. "Sport performers should be wary of the drinks they consume because it can not only have a long term biological cost but also a financial cost for different types of treatment," he said.
 
Dr McAnulty also said drinking a 340ml can of a sugary drink per day has a 22 per cent risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to drinking one can or less a month. "It is frightening to think how much sugar is in just one drink," Dr McAnulty said. "Even sugar-free drinks are not a healthy alternative because it contains caffeine which is an addictive substance."
 
Dr McAnulty added particularly for those who participate in training and play sport to make sure they make the right decision about what goes into their mouth. "By adhering to good hygiene practices of regularly brushing your teeth and avoiding sugary foods and drinks in your diet, dental issues can be prevented," he said. "Drinking water is the best option to help quench your thirst rather than energy drinks."

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