ADA Supports Labeling Bottled Water

Nov. 8, 2002
Diversity and Heavy Consumption of Sweetened Drinks Also Addressed at 143rd Annual Session

The American Dental Association (ADA) is calling for the labeling
of bottled water with its fluoride concentration and company contact information, including address and telephone number.

The ADA's House of Delegates, governing body of the 141,000-member professional dental organization, says the action is necessary to help ensure individuals are receiving an optimal intake of fluoride as more and more consumers opt to drink bottled water. By 2005, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, consumers will drink more bottled water than
any other beverage except soft drinks. Studies have shown that the vast majority of bottled water has fluoride levels of 0.3 parts per million (ppm). The recommended fluoride level for drinking water is 0.7 to 1.2 ppm.

Fluoride's benefits are particularly important for those Americans,
especially children, who lack adequate access to dental care, according to the ADA.

The ADA's governing body approved the resolution during its 143rd Annual Session, held recently in New Orleans. It also approved a resolution supporting inclusion of information about the effects of home water treatment systems on water fluoride levels. Some systems, including those that use reverse osmosis and distillation, remove significant amounts of fluoride from the water supply.

ADA To Establish Minority Professional Leadership Institute

In furthering its commitment to membership diversity and the cultivation and development of a diverse leadership, the ADA's governing body approved funding for the establishment of a Minority Professional Leadership Institute in 2003.

The program's objectives are to build lifetime relationships with minority dentists; to mentor promising leaders; and to strengthen alliances with stakeholder institutions, including industry, public and governmental communities of interest.

According to the ADA, institute participants would gain a better
understanding of their individual leadership styles, a national perspective on oral health issues and knowledge of resources available from organized dentistry and industry.

Health Effects of Overconsumption of Carbonated and Sugared Soft Drinks

In other action, the ADA House of Delegates passed a resolution encouraging formation of broad-based national, state and local coalitions. These coalitions of dental, medical and health organizations and agencies would help educate the public about adverse health effects of overexposure to carbonated soft drinks and sweetened drinks.

Frequent exposure to sugar-sweetened beverages and foods increases risk for dental caries (tooth decay), according to an ADA report to its House of Delegates last year.

Citing three peer-reviewed epidemiological studies that show a positive association between caries risk and soft drink consumption, the 2001 report concludes: "The Association (ADA) opposes school contracts promoting increased access to soft drinks in general since, to the best of the Association's knowledge, these inevitably include the promotion of sugar-containing products as well as other non-nutritious soft drink products."

In 2000, the ADA adopted policy opposing contractual arrangements that influence children's consumption patterns by promoting increased access to soft drinks.