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New Zealand Dental Association backs review for sugar content labels on food and drink

A joint trans-Tasman ministerial forum into food regulation has today ordered a review looking at the labelling of added sugars in food and drinks.

An option under investigation by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation for consideration is a "pictorial approach applied to sugary beverages / sugar-sweetened beverages", the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) said in a statement. 

The NZDA says the option is in line with their vision of an icon label being placed on sugary drinks.

"We have called for a sugary drink icon. This should be a teaspoon with a number indicating the equivalent teaspoons of sugar in each drink," NZDA sugary drinks spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole said in a statement.

"As dentists daily we see the harm excessive sugary drink consumption causes. NZDA have been very vocal on this issue for a number of years.

"While it's good to see the trans-Tasman regulator look at this issue, it is vital that action is now taken. The oral health of New Zealanders is too important to allow food and beverage industry lobby groups to water-down this proposal."

The forum will meet again in November.

Source: Breakfast