The result of a joint collaboration between the FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) and the Indian Dental Association (IDA), the Mumbai Declaration on Sugary Drinks and Healthy Food seeks to achieve real and important improvements in oral health in the face of current oral health challenges and opportunities in India.
The declaration is a tangible outcome of the first in a series of the Capacity Building Workshops which are being held in line with FDI’s Vision 2030 report, which aims to turn the oral health challenges confronting dentistry over the next decade into “into opportunities to improve oral health, reduce oral health inequalities, and contribute to reducing the global burden of oral diseases”.
Recognising the risks posed by sugar and tobacco which are linked to oral and noncommunicable diseases such as dental caries, gum disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, and more, the workshops, all held in conjunction with member dental associations, hope to “arm [the associations] with the tools to advocate for optimal oral health in their country-specific context”.
The IDA/FDI workshop, which included involvement by key Indian stakeholders such as the Government of India, World Health Organization, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, Tata Memorial Centre, and Indian Council of Medical Research, looked at both the overall challenges to oral health in India but also the need for regional and global action too.
It also encompassed discussions on sugar and its effect on oral health and tobacco cessation, with the exploration of these key issues ultimately leading to the Mumbai Declaration on Sugary Drinks and Healthy Food which “identifies seven key areas of actions, which seek to reduce the harms caused by sugary drink consumption.”
“I congratulate FDI and IDA for organizing successful workshops on two of the major risk factors of oral health and noncommunicable diseases, and subsequently developing the Declaration on Sugary Drinks. Commitment at national levels to improve oral health by tackling its risk factors are vital to reach optimal oral health at a global level.”, says Prof. Ihsane Ben Yahya, FDI President, commending the local efforts of the key health organizations in India, who are endorsing the declaration. “I truly hope we can continue our efforts to address the different oral health challenges and needs of each of our member countries through such initiatives.”
”The declaration signifies the desire of the NDA to inform the public about the negative health impacts of sugary drinks, and to advocate for a comprehensive approach to reduce sugary drink consumption”, adds Dr Puneet Girdhar, IDA President, stressing the association’s commitment to advocate for optimal oral health and support their in-country strategies.
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