People in the North West are set to munch their way through 636,233kg of sugar – the equivalent to the weight of 2,339 reindeer - during Christmas lunch according to research by mydentist, the largest provider of NHS dentistry in the UK.
Excluding extra treats like mince pies and chocolate selection boxes, mydentist estimates the average adult will consume 94g (2) of sugar by eating and drinking their way through a prawn cocktail starter, turkey with all the trimmings, Christmas pudding, trifle, a glass of wine and one of bubbly.
- Adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars (1) a day, (roughly equivalent to seven sugar cubes).
- Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars (1) a day (six sugar cubes).
- Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g of free sugars (1) a day (five sugar cubes).
- There is no guideline limit for children under the age of 4, but it’s recommended they avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with sugar added to it.
For children (under 16s), who would have smaller portion sizes, the sugar count is still more than twice the adult recommended daily intake in just one meal. mydentist’s figures suggest youngsters could be consuming 74g of sugar, with a glass of orange juice (150ml) making up the equivalent of more than 3 teaspoons on its own.
Christmas sugar in figures
5,724,301kg of sugar will be consumed in the UK over Christmas lunch, which is an equivalent weight to:
- 21,045 reindeer with an average weight of 200kg
- 36,056,317 Pomsies, the responsive soft toy at the top of the Christmas toy chart, at 158.16g each
- 401,705 5ft Christmas trees
- 124,441,323 Christmas crackers
Laid end-to-end 5,724,301kg bags of sugar would stretch 994 miles – or about the distance by air from London to Lisbon.
Dr Nyree Whitley, group clinical director of mydentist said:
“We often see and hear about the number of calories we eat at Christmas, but not many of us think about how many of those calories come from sugar and the impact one day can potentially have on your teeth.
“Without even considering goodies like mince pies and chocolates, you can see how easy it is to eat more than three times the daily recommended intake of sugar in just one meal. Children, who might have fruit juice with their dinner and be munching on chocolates from breakfast time, are particularly exposed.
“And while we don’t want to spoil the Christmas fun, or make granny feel guilty about her sherry, we wanted to share some tips on how to protect your teeth from the sugar onslaught of the festive season.”
Christmas Day Top Tips for a healthy mouth
- Drink lots of water – as well as helping hangovers, it will help remove sugars from your mouth.
- Brush your teeth after Christmas lunch.
- If you can’t, try chewing sugar free gum to neutralise harmful acids in your mouth.
- Swap fortified wines, like sherry for spirits which contain little or no sugar, but make the measures smaller!
- Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice, they attack and weaken the enamel on your teeth, go for sugar free options instead – including mixers.
mydentist has practices across the UK that are accepting new NHS patients. More than nine out of ten of its patients* would recommend it to family and friends. To book an appointment and make a new year’s resolution to look after your teeth visit www.mydentist.co.uk.