Monday 6 February 2012

Going Sour On The Kids

Boy, did Cardiff University dentists pick the wrong day for their particular brand of miserabilism.

Their smoke-hating counterparts were monopolising the internet, TV, and radio today by spouting one myth and manipulated half-truth after another under the guise of making life more pleasant for children. In the cause of age equality, though, the dentists decided to launch a campaign to make kids' lives that little bit duller, too.
A NEW generation of super-sour sweets, masquerading as brain tissue, human blood and even toxic waste has prompted concerns for children’s teeth.

Using novelty packaging, including tiny toilets and babies’ bottles, the sweets contain high levels of sugar and acids and are available at pocket money prices
Nice pinching of Alcohol Concern's cute little soundbite, but it doesn't really work when it comes to children's products. You see, they're at 'pocket money prices' because - and I hope this doesn't come as too much of a heart-stopper for them - they are products which are bought with, err, pocket money.
Many of these sweets, which are imported from China and Thailand, also encourage children to come back for more. Candy spray sweets can contain up to 150 doses, while other packaging comes with a replaceable lid, allowing children to return to their sweets time and again.
What their origin has to do with anything is hard to fathom, apart from the obvious reach for an arrogant xenophobic dog whistle. I'm pretty sure there are bodies in this country - which we pay for through our taxes, willingly or not - specifically designed to cope with such issues ... the Food Standards Agency and Trading Standards come immediately to mind.

The number of 'doses' is a pointless factoid too, there is only so much sugar and other ingredients in it. If there are 150 doses, each will deliver 1/150th of the total content, no?

Still, they must have some compelling evidenced to go to press release with this, let's hear them out.
The Cardiff University School of Dentistry is hoping to set up a postgraduate project to research the sweet phenomenon and study their exact impact on children’s teeth.
Oh, I see. There isn't any yet. But they hope there will be some soon (translation: 'can we have some money please?').
It follows a short piece of research into children’s attitudes towards these new sweets, which showed they were attracted to the garish packaging and the distinctive sweet-sour taste.
Kids have been attracted to garish packaging and sweet-sour tastes since time immemorial. Someone researched this? With public money?

Still plenty more to cut, Dave.
The Cardiff-based school children, all aged nine and 10, were all aware where they could buy these sweets, often in shops near their schools, and of the prices – they range from 25p to £1.
Kids know that they can buy sweets in sweet shops, and are aware of the prices of things they like to buy? Gosh! Someone alert the Nobel Prize Committee to this ground-breaking study!
But when asked whether there were any health issues associated with eating such sweets, the children gave vague answers, such as “they make you sick” or “bad for your teeth”.

One young boy told the researchers: “They say: ‘You should not have that because it’s either too dear or it will rot your teeth.’ I’m like, I’m going to lose half of these anyway so, like, rock on.”
Well, you can't fault his logic, can you?
Maria Morgan, a lecturer in dental public health, said: “There are a couple of issues about these sweets; they are very sweet and contain acids as well, but they are also being eaten by children under the radar – many adults and parents aren’t aware of these sweets, which are being sold at pocket-money prices."
Many adults and parents haven't a clue who Labrinth is, either. This is because certain products are aimed at adults, and others at children. You know, it's the same principle by which women buy things with hearts and flowers on, while men will happily buy something promoted by a pneumatic blonde with a milky smooth cleavage. What was this study called? "A qualitative analysis of the bleeding obvious", by any chance?

And do leave off with the 'pocket money prices', for Gawd's sake. It makes you look daft, woman.
Mrs Morgan, who also monitors the Welsh Government’s Designed to Smile programme to improve children’s dental health, said: “One of the most unexpected things we found was their concept of a ‘treat’. In my day, a treat was something you had once a week.
Aah, that explains it. You're old and were subject to living a childhood during post war rationing. Oh hold on, just seen your profile. You were either woefully under-privileged to be treated so sparsely (this is Wales we're talking about, I suppose), or you've just thrown that in to fit your case. Having said that, you've certainly made up for it in the intervening years, eh?
She added: “I believe that food should be enjoyable and there can be an element of having a treat in your diet but we need to be aware of these novelty sweets, which are available at pocket-money prices.”
Yes, because ... oh I give up.

Good grief.


Jaycas said...

With that profile, you just know that,  if it weren't for public health,  she'd be a Diversity Co-ordinator :)

barnacle bill said...

Ye gods, now they're coming for our children's teeth, it's Tooth Fairyism gone mad!!!

RichardAllan said...

Welsh kids still say "dear" for expensive, do they? No wonder I still think of the place as a kind of Dickensian nightmare.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

If Lardy Liam was CMO for so long, I suppose anyone could be anything in the public sector. Just takes a grasp of the jargon, a willingness to embrace mendacity, and a few soundbites. 

Thomas said...

All those post-grads need their higher degrees and licensing if they are to make it into the posh upper classes - and for the university to promise them that reward, then with smoking already done thousands of times over, if they move onto candy, they can save the children and get funding for post-grad research at the same time. Why would Glantz's UCSF have done that recent sugar banning study if not for the under-grads needing advanced degrees and medical licensing and UCSF increased funding, and with smoking already done, they had to think up something new. It is repositioning rent-seeking in the marketplace for leached funds in novel ways hoping the public will not much notice the thievery.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Ooh yes, the seamless move onto sugar. The new rotter (pardon the pun). ;)

Legiron said...

That has to be the funniest one yet. Sweets at pocket money prices? The horror!

Curmudgeon said...

Are you absolutely sure you're not quoting from the "Daily Mash" here?

Tooth fairy said...

The biggest danger to the Country's teeth is dentists funding.
I remember some decades ago regularly attended the dentists every 6 months. Each visit was an X-ray and two fillings.
Years later after a change in Government funding I did my usual 6 month visit and suddenly my teeth were perfect, no X-ray, no fillings.
In other words the bastards were GBH-ing me every visit.
I mentioned this a couple of years ago to a dentist and if ever I hit bulls eye that was it. A more totally embarrassed and  shame faced person you could not find.
Now, I use a sonic t'brush, decent paste and never visit them.

nicholas.ashley1 said...

Do you think my heroin-containing humbugs will catch on?

Single acts of tyranny said...

If young master SAOT ever came out with illiterate dross such as 

" I’m like, I’m going to lose half of these anyway so, like, rock on.”

I would perhaps be more concerned with his English and his education, rather than his teeth.  Like.

lleweton said...

I'm probably missing something but I've looked at Mrs Morgan's profile and I can't see a single degree or diploma mentioned.

Sad But Mad Lad said...

"Candy spray sweets can contain up to 150 doses, while other packaging
comes with a replaceable lid, allowing children to return to their
sweets time and again."

A bit like tin of Cadbury's Roses chocolates then?

I would have thought this would be a good thing. It means that rather than the kid scoffing the lot in one go they can eat it over a period of time.

Mark Wadsworth said...

You absolute monster, Dick! Don't you realise that one cigarette costs the around 30p - that's "pocket money prices"! 

Or a thousandth of a gram of heroin! Pocket money prices! So I assume that you want all kids to become junkies?

P T Barnum said...

"I am committed and skilled senior public health professional" (sic). She even sounds like she's been assimiliated by the Borg...

James Pickett said...

I think we should all heed her advice to the letter. Then dentists would have nothing to do!

James Pickett said...

I think we should heed her advice to the letter. No more need for dentists, then.