The availability of novelty sweets within the high school fringe

Article English OPEN
Aljawad, Ayman ; Morgan, Maria ; Fairchild, Ruth ; Rees, Jeremy (2016)
  • Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2016.412
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: food and beverages | stomatognathic system

Background Reducing sugar consumption is a primary focus of current global public health policy. Achieving 5% of total energy from free sugars will be difficult acknowledging the concentration of free sugars in sugar sweetened beverages, confectionery and as hidden sugars in many savoury items. The expansion of the novelty sweet market in the UK has significant implications for children and young adults as they contribute to dental caries, dental erosion and obesity.\ud \ud Objective To identify the most available types of novelty sweets within the high school fringe in Cardiff, UK and to assess their price range and where and how they were displayed in shops.\ud \ud Subjects and methods Shops within a ten minute walking distance around five purposively selected high schools in the Cardiff aea representing different levels of deprivation were visited. Shops in Cardiff city centre and three supermarkets were also visited to identify the most commonly available novelty sweets.\ud \ud Results The ten most popular novelty sweets identified in these scoping visits were (in descending order): Brain Licker, Push Pop, Juicy Drop, Lickedy Lips, Big Baby Pop, Vimto candy spray, Toxic Waste, Tango candy spray, Brain Blasterz Bitz and Mega Mouth candy spray. Novelty sweets were located on low shelves which were accessible to all age-groups in 73% (14 out of 19) of the shops. Novelty sweets were displayed in the checkout area in 37% (seven out of 19) shops. The price of the top ten novelty sweets ranged from 39p to £1.\ud \ud Conclusion A wide range of acidic and sugary novelty sweets were easily accessible and priced within pocket money range. Those personnel involved in delivering dental and wider health education or health promotion need to be aware of recent developments in children's confectionery. The potential effects of these novelty sweets on both general and dental health require further investigation.
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