News Releases & Statements
American Beverage Association Responds to General Dentistry Paper
In response to “A comparison of sports and energy drinks — Physiochemical properties and enamel dissolution,” a paper published in the journal General Dentistry, the American Beverage Association issued the following statement:
“This study was not conducted on humans and in no way mirrors reality. The authors used slices of tooth enamel samples from extracted molars, and then placed them in petri dishes of liquid for extended periods of time. People do not keep any kind of liquid in their mouths for 15 minute intervals over five day periods. Thus, the findings of this paper simply cannot be applied to real life situations. Furthermore, it is irresponsible to blame foods, beverages or any other single factor for enamel loss and tooth decay (dental caries or cavities). Science tells us that individual susceptibility to both dental cavities and tooth erosion varies depending on a person’s dental hygiene behavior, lifestyle, total diet and genetic make-up.”
Additional Background Information:
On the Paper:
- As noted by the authors themselves, there were several limitations of the study, including their use of an in vitro (petri dish) multiple exposure model to measure enamel loss. Saliva neutralizes acidity and acts to remineralize teeth. The absence of saliva in an in vitro (petri dish) model sets up a false situation where decay is far more likely.
- Importantly, the simulation was comparable to consuming four drinks per day, which is not normal consumption.
- It’s also important to note that the authors used artificial saliva, which fails to be comparable to human saliva.
On Oral Health:
- Oral health is determined by many different aspects. Several factors contribute to the formation of dental caries (cavities), including the types of food consumed, the length of time foods are retained in the mouth and a person's level of oral hygiene and access to professional dental care.
- In fact, there are multiple causes of dental caries (cavities) and erosion and many protective factors that can help prevent or minimize them.
- According to the American Dental Association, “tooth decay has declined among young children as a group.” This is due to a number of factors, including fluoridated water and toothpaste, greater access to professional dental care, the use of dental sealants and better oral hygiene, to name a few.
- We all must do our part to enhance oral health by brushing and flossing our teeth and making regular visits to the dentist.
On Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks:
- Sports drinks have a long history of scientific research showing their benefits for carbohydrate energy and hydration, which are necessary for an athlete’s overall health, wellness and athletic performance (as well as safety in certain circumstances). These functional beverages contain electrolytes and carbohydrates, and were created to help athletes and other active people hydrate and provide needed energy before, during and after exercise.
- Energy drinks are beverages that are specifically marketed with an energizing effect and a unique combination of characterizing ingredients. While their ingredients and labeling comply fully with all regulatory requirements, they are not intended for children.
- Importantly, our member companies market and distribute all of their beverages responsibly. With respect to sports drinks and energy drinks. ABA member companies have committed not to offer energy drinks for sale in K-12 schools and to offer calorie-capped sports drinks in 12 ounce or smaller containers to high schools only. These commitments are outlined in the ABA Guidance for the Responsible Labeling and Marketing of Energy Drinks and our national School Beverage Guidelines. Under the industry's Global Policy on Marketing to Children, the companies do not advertise beverages other than juice, water or milk-based drinks to any audience that is comprised predominantly of children under 12. The global marketing policy covers a wide range of marketing outlets including paid media such as television, radio, print, Internet, phone messaging and cinema, including product placement.
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The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.