November 15, 2012
Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) is strongly opposed to Bebi fruit drinks being marketed to babies as young as 6 months old.
"These products appear very cute and might seem convenient but they aren’t safe."
DHSV CEO, Dr Deborah Cole said these products are a clear breach of dietary guidelines and should not be marketed to such a vulnerable group.
“These products appear very cute and might seem convenient but they aren’t safe.
“Giving a fruit drink to babies as young as six months encourages them to develop a taste for sweet drinks that are not good for their dental and overall health.
Mums also need to be aware that the ready-to-drink teat can interfere with establishing and maintaining breastfeeding,” said Dr Cole.
Even if diluted, fruit juice contains natural sugars which can lead to tooth decay. Tooth decay causes pain, sleeping problems and may stop children from reaching a healthy weight.
Bebi claims to be the world’s first infant suitable beverage range. Available as a fruit drink and bottled water, the products incorporate a ready-to-drink teat.
According to dietary guidelines, breast milk or infant formula should be the main drink for children under 12 months old. For toddlers and older children fluoridated tap water is the best drink.
“We don’t need products like this. Tap water is cheap and it contains fluoride which protects teeth from decay,” said Dr Cole.
Bebi has received a huge number of complaints from concerned parents and community members via its Facebook page. A Boycott Bebi Facebook page was also launched this week.
Dr Deborah Cole is available for comment.
Media contacts: Jacqui McCallum, Tel: (03) 9341 1361 / 0404 137102
Lisa Fairweather, Tel: (03) 9341 1134 / 0402 373 585
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