Predictable Attack on Dental Expert for Highlighting Sugar Monday, 9 March 2015

ASMS Media Release

"It's disappointing - but predictable - that one of this country's foremost dental experts has been attacked for speaking out about a major health problem facing New Zealanders, the over-consumption of sugar," says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

Dr Rob Beaglehole highlighted the impact of sugary drinks in particular on toddlers and children in TVNZ's Sunday current affairs programme last night, including the removal of rotting teeth from babies still in nappies and the high consumption of sugar among teenagers and others:http://tvnz.co.nz/sunday-news/bittersweet-video-6250138

Mr Powell says it was concerning to see such an important issue trivialised by an unwarranted attack of Dr Beaglehole and TVNZ by Cameron Slater on his Whale Oil website this morning.

"Rather than engaging with the evidence and the real-life experience of Dr Beaglehole and others who are dealing with the consequences of high-sugar diets in their daily work, the mouthpieces for the sugary drinks industry just try to vilify them. These are people who are speaking out because of their expertise and training in these areas, and they should be able to do so without fear of intimidation.

"New Zealand is fortunate to have public health professionals like Dr Beaglehole who are prepared to call it as they see it, despite repeated and ongoing attempts to silence them. This is about clinicians having the right to stand up for their patients, many of whom are children."

ENDS