Dental treatment exceeded 12.8 billion euros
HALL, Germany: According to a study by scientists from the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in collaboration with the German company Biotechnology Research and Information Network (BRAIN), people around the world abuse sugar. The study, which covered 168 countries, used data from 2010 on the prevalence of caries, periodontitis and tooth loss, the burden of these diseases and the corresponding costs of their treatment, as well as sugar consumption.
The researchers took into account in their calculations both free and hidden sugars contained in many finished products, for example, drinks, ketchup, ice cream and frozen convenience foods, as well as bread, cakes and pasta. According to the study, global spending on treating sweet tooth in 2010 amounted to about 12.8 billion euros (17.2 billion US dollars).
“The data show a strong correlation between sugar intake and the prevalence of caries, periodontitis and, as a result, tooth loss,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Toni Meier of MLU. “In high-income countries, every additional 25 grams of sugar per day per person — about eight pieces of refined sugar or one glass of sweet lemonade — increases personal annual dental expenses by an average of $ 100 (75 euros).”
Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and the United States were among the countries where this treatment of one patient per year is especially expensive, on average 210 euros ($ 281), 300 euros (402 dollars), 178 euros (238 dollars) and 138 euros (185 dollars), respectively. In 2010, the German population consumed between 90 and 110 g of sugar per person per day. The highest levels of dental diseases associated with sugar consumption were observed in Guatemala, Mauritania and Mexico.
“Countries that have embarked on industrialization — for example, India, Brazil, and Mexico, but also Pakistan and Egypt — could have avoided the undue burden of dental diseases and medical expenses by developing the necessary political and educational measures from the very beginning,” said study co-author Professor Gabriele Stangl from MLU.
Although it is becoming increasingly difficult for patients to avoid excessive sugar consumption, as almost all processed foods presented in supermarkets contain a large amount of added sugars, researchers are sure that the burden of nutrition-related diseases can be reduced by combining educational measures, good food policies and innovative technological decisions.
The study, Global burden of sugar-related dental diseases in 168 countries and corresponding health care costs, was published in the July issue of Journal of Dental, July 8 (Issue 8). Research. It was partially funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and carried out under the auspices of the strategic alliance NatLifE 2020, the purpose of which is to develop a new generation of rationally produced and biologically active substances for the food and cosmetic industries, due to which the Alliance intends to contribute to improving nutrition, health and well-being of people.