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Plea to food firms to stop rot in East Lancashire's young teeth
A HEALTH chief has called on food companies to stop ‘dumping’ so much sugar in children’s meals — after another study highlighted the area’s teeth problems.
The NHS has released figures showing that Blackburn with Darwen’s residents accounted for 1,215 hospital admissions due to tooth decay last year — a rate well above the national average.
The North West had the third highest rate of the English regions, with 457 admissions for each 100,000 residents, but Blackburn with Darwen’s rate was up at about 730 per 100,000, based the most recent population figures.
The rest of East Lancashire had 2,183 hospital admissions for dental procedures over the same period, a rate of about 573 per 100,000.
The NHS Information Centre said the figures were higher in deprived areas.
Dominic Harrison, joint director of public health at Blackburn with Darwen council, said: “Our borough has amongst the worst teeth in the country.
“On average, children here have more than two rotten teeth by the age of five.
“To this end we have a run a successful ‘Stop the rot’ campaign aimed at getting the message out there about the importance of going to the dentist from the cradle to the grave.
“We also need to see multi-national food companies dumping less sugar in our children’s food.
“It is important for all of us to consume less sugar – but when so much of it is hidden in processed food and promoted to our children through mass media advertising it is very difficult.
“From a public health point of view, sugar is public enemy number three after smoking and alcohol.”
He said there are NHS dentists available in the borough and urged families who are not registered to call the health helpline on 0845 53 33 230.