71% of UK Parents Unaware Spouted Baby Food Could Impact Child Speech and Dental Development
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New research has revealed three significant areas of concern in the current baby food market that have raised alarm among parents, dentists, nutritionists and speech therapists alike: speech defects, teeth distortion, enamel erosion and misleading labelling of sugar content in meals.
The research discovered that 71% of parents in the UK were unaware that the use of spouts, typically found on baby food pouches, can have a detrimental effect on their baby’s speech development and teeth formation. Shockingly, 11% of the over 200,000 UK parents surveyed had or have children under five years old who suffer from dental issues such as distorted teeth or tooth decay.
Unsurprisingly, two-thirds (66%) of parents admitted that they would have reconsidered their purchase had they been made aware of the teeth defects that baby foods with spouts can cause. 58% of parents were also unaware of the critical importance of the presence of soft chunks, of approximately 8mm for children from around seven months, to encourage chewing, as well as jaw muscle and speech development.
The research found that a significant reason for parents’ lack of understanding in this area is due to the misleading names of baby foods.
Parents are demanding more information and support about the food currently on sale for their children, with 75% calling for more information and education, as well as baby food manufacturers to be more responsible and honest. An overhaul of the baby food market was demanded after parents stated that nutrition alongside minimal salt and sugar levels were the two most important factors when choosing baby food.
For all this and more watch our video featuring experts Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Dentist and CEO of the Oral Health Foundation and Chair of Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe Emma Ahern, Speech and Language Therapist; and Dr Emma Derbyshire, Public Health Nutritionist and Health Writer, as we explore this issue more in depth.