BEIJING (Xinhua) – China will make efforts to reduce sugar intake among both children and adults, in a bid to improve the nation’s oral health, according to an action plan recently released by the National Health Commission.
Primary and middle schools, as well as nurseries, should restrict sales of beverages and snacks high in sugar, said the oral health action plan covering the period from 2019 to 2025, which also required school canteens to offer less sweetened beverages and sugar-rich foods.
The country will encourage food manufacturers to use “reduced sugar” or “sugar-free” claims, and help consumers learn how to identify added sugar on nutrition facts labels, according to the plan.
A goal has been set to cut the caries incidence among 12-year-old children from 34.5 per cent in 2016 to under 30 per cent by 2025, the plan said. It expects the average remaining teeth of seniors aged between 65 and 74 to reach 24 by 2025, while the figure was 22.5 in 2016.
Interventions will be strengthened to improve oral disease prevention and control, including a ban on smoking in public areas and education about harms of the areca nut, one of the leading causes of oral cancer.