Taking Action on Sugar! (S03 E04)

Dr Kawther Hashem, Campaign Lead at Action on Sugar, and Dr Saul Konviser of the Dental Wellness Trust discuss the Government’s open consultation on total restriction of online advertising for HFSS (High in Fat, Sugar and Salt) products, and why it is so important.

The conversation covers the difficulties parents face when feeding their children, branding and packaging, and more. We also question whether responsibility should come down to the government, manufacturers, retailers or consumers.

Drs Hashem and Konviser also talk about the issues arising in patients due to a lack of care during the pandemic.

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Dr Kawther Hashem

Dr Kawther Hashem, BSc MSc PhD RNutr (Public Health), is an Registered Nutritionist. She currently holds the position of nutrition researcher at Queen Mary University of London and the Campaign Lead for the Action on Sugar project at Consensus Action on Salt, Sugar and Health (CASSH), an active research charity organisation concerned with the effects of salt and sugar on health.

Kawther studied for a BSc in Nutrition at King’s College London. Since graduating, she has worked in various areas including the food industry, non-governmental organisations and more recently in academia. In 2014, Kawther completed a Masters in Food Policy at City University London and in early 2019, she completed her PhD on sugar reduction.

Alongside her current roles Kawther is also visiting lecturer on nutrition and food policy at several UK universities and is regularly invited to comment on nutrition topics in the media.

Twitter: @actiononsugar @kawtherh

Instagram: @actiononsaltandsugar @drkawthernutrition

Website: www.actiononsugar.org

Dr Saul Konviser

Dr Saul Konviser is a general dentist at Montagu Dental practice in Marylebone. He also has an MSc in International Health Policy and utilises this in his role as Trustee of the Dental Wellness Trust charity. He he has been responsible for establishing the DWT’s supervised toothbrushing programmes in schools and nurseries in the UK that now has over 3,500 children taking part everyday. This is in addition to the 15,000 children participating in the DWT’s programmes in South Africa. If you wish to get involved with the DWT, then please get in touch at charity@dentalwellnesstrust.org.

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The Dental Awards are sponsored by B.A. International, Colgate, Colosseum Dental, Dental Elite, and Water Pik. The Probe and The British Dental Conference & Dentistry Show are official partners.

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Action on Sugar and Dental Wellness Trust react to Government’s open consultation on total restriction of online advertising for HFSS products

The government’s Department of Health and Social Care and Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport have started their open consultation on the total restriction of online advertising for products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS). The consultation seeks views on the proposal for a total online advertising restriction for HFSS products to reduce the amount of HFSS advertising children are exposed to online.

Professor Graham MacGregor, Chair of Action on Sugar, commented: “We very much welcome this consultation on whether only healthy food and drink should be advertised online as it gives the opportunity for ministers to hear from the many parents who are frustrated with their children being bombarded with advertising for unhealthy foods. 
“As the message from the Government has been to ‘stay home’ for much of the year in the fight against COVID-19, this will have no doubt vastly increased children’s exposure to such irresponsible marketing which casts unhealthy products in the spotlight. 
“It’s therefore vital that a total ban across all online platforms is introduced which would ensure that all loopholes, including paid-for promotions whereby brands are using marketing techniques to push junk food ads, would be firmly closed and help turn the tide on obesity.”
Dr Saul Konviser of the Dental Wellness Trust added: “Oral health is a key indicator of overall health, wellbeing and quality of life and yet unfortunately, tooth decay remains one of the most common non-communicable diseases worldwide. It is therefore imperative that only non-HFSS food and drink products can be marketed and promoted to children across all forms of media – and that must include a total online ban on promotions and advertising.

“As the latest figures by the Local Government Association show, nearly 45,000 hospital operations were performed to remove rotten teeth in 2018/19 which is a stark reminder that too much sugar, especially in children’s diets, can have dire consequences. And what’s most concerning is this is all entirely preventable.”