High-sugar drinks, including fruit drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks, are of no nutritional value and contribute to the burden of dental disease in all age groups. The manufacturers of sports and energy drinks have elected to target children in their marketing campaigns and promote a misleading association between their products, healthy lifestyles and sporting prowess. The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that strategies aimed at prevention of dental disease are the only economically viable options for managing the oral health of children in low- and middle-income countries. Developed nations will also be advantaged by preventive programmes given that the cost of providing dental care to those who cannot pay draws valuable resources away from more pressing health issues. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) obligates governments to develop legislation to protect the health of children. A framework convention modelled on the existing Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, supported by the WHO, would assist governments to proactively legislate to restrict the sale of sports and energy drinks to children. This article will consider how a framework convention would be an advantage with reference to the strategies used by sports and energy drink manufacturers in Australia.
Keywords: Dental economics; energy drinks; oral health; preventive dentistry; sports drinks.
© 2017 Australian Dental Association.