Refined carbs as responsible for childhood obesity, rotten teeth as sugar - study

Sugar may not be great for your teeth, but it's not the only think liable to make your teeth rot, according to new research conducted in New Zealand. 

The report, released today, suggests that eating refined and high-carbohydrate food is the principle cause of tooth decay. 

Researchers say this is not taken in to account when it comes to traditional healthy food guidelines for children.  

Consumtion of high carbohydrate foods is also increasing the prevalence of both malnutrition and obesity in children and young people, researchers found.  

AUT researcher Sarah Hancock says a lot of things which are recommended as snacks to consumers and also have a high health star rating can be considered harmful.

Current dietary guidelines recommend increasing the frequency of consumption of sugar- and starch-containing foods as children age, as well as choosing low-fat dairy produce, but the study authors say these guidelines were created without full consideration of the evidence.

The report suggests healthy eating should limit refined sugar- and starch-containing foods and encourage intake of whole foods and full-fat dairy items. Ultra processed, high carbohydrate foods include breakfast cereals, popcorn, crackers and chips. 

"Although Government-endorsed dietary guidelines for young people correctly provide recommendations to decrease intake of high-sugar foods, recommendations are also provided to increase the amount and frequency of consumption of high carbohydrate foods as children age, and to choose low-fat dairy produce."