WILLIAM Kennewell says he is living proof of the damage soft drinks can cause to your teeth and health. For three years, the 25-year-old drank between six and eight litres of soft drink each day - an addiction he struggled to kick.|
The Salisbury North resident ignored dentists' warnings about the problems his dangerous habit was causing and has since had all his rotten teeth removed and replaced with dentures.
"I'm told a normal person has about 23 teeth, but ... I only had 13 left and they had to be removed," he said.
"It started because I wasn't a huge water fan and working in the hotel industry, I had easy access to Coke.
"Because my teeth were decaying so badly, it caused blood poisoning which just made me sick, but my health improved with the dentures."
Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health senior research fellow Dr Jason Armfield has called for health warnings on labels to include the risks of tooth decay.
Dr Armfield is also the lead author of a study of 16,800 Australian children that found 56 per cent of those aged between five and 16 consumed at least one sweet drink, such as soft drink or juice, each day.
Australian Beverages Council chief executive Geoff Parker said it was important to teach children early on about good dental hygiene:
"However, singling out one particular part of the diet is a misguided approach to dealing with an issue such as dental hygiene," he said.
Mr Kennewell agreed with the idea of putting health warnings on soft drinks, but questioned how effective they would be.
A spokeswoman for the Federal Department of Health and Ageing said the Federal Government was "committed to re-focusing the health system towards prevention and to supporting efforts to reduce obesity and other health issues caused by poor diet and exercise".