03 August 2020

Consumers warned to look out for hidden sugar

This Dental Health Week, 3–9 August, consumers are being asked to think about how much sugar is hiding in their trolley.

Sugar comes in many forms and is often disguised, with more than 50 different names and little to no information about added sugar on food and drink packaging. That’s why consumers are being asked to think about how much sugar is hiding in their trolley during this year’s Dental Health Week.

Large amounts of sugar are typically in cakes, cordials, ice-cream and biscuits, but it can also be hidden in other foods that are considered savoury.

Some tips to help find hidden sugar in packaged food and drinks, and make healthier choices, include:

  • Look for added sugars on the ingredient list – these are worse than naturally occurring sugars. Just a few names for added sugars are corn syrup, brown rice syrup, malt syrup, fructose and dextrose.
  • Avoid items where sugar (or a form of sugar) is near the top of the ingredient list, which means that the sugar content is high compared with other ingredients.
  • Choose items that have less than 15g of sugar per 100g serving.

ADA Oral Health Tracker

Updated figures from the Oral Health Tracker, a report card on Australia’s oral health, indicate that nearly half of adults consume too much sugar and one in three adults has untreated tooth decay, compared with one in five when it was last measured. One in three children aged five to six years have decay in their baby teeth, and only half of us are brushing our teeth twice a day.

These figures show that Australians’ oral health is getting worse over time, making the message about reducing added sugar in our diets even more important. 

ADA cookbook competition

The ADA is releasing a cookbook with tooth-friendly sweet treat recipes for this year’s Dental Health Week. Congratulations to the winners who submitted their tasty original recipes, including six Victorian members. Winners will be profiled in the cookbook and receive printed copies. The cookbook will be available for download and printed copies can be purchased.