April 3, 2023

Health Food and Beverage icon Healthy Food and Beverage Standards

While you might think there isn’t much overlap between the goals of a family medicine physician and a pediatric dentist, we have a shared understanding about the harmful effects of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) on the health of young children. We have both witnessed first-hand the increase in SSB-related poor health outcomes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our patients consumed higher than usual SSBs that coupled with experiencing a lack of access to physical activity, not surprisingly, increased the cases of obesity and/or dental caries in our practices.


When looking at BMI among San Diego school children, nearly 1 out of every 3 children were overweight or obese in the 2017-18 school year.1 In terms of their oral health, according to data from the Oral Health Assessment 2017-18, 27% of kindergartners and first graders already experienced tooth decay or restorations, and 21% had visible decay with 4% needing urgent dental services.2 These numbers were pre-pandemic and already shocking. Here are our personal experiences treating patients during the pandemic:...

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