Source: The Mercury, 27 June, 1992, p.3


Fruit for
thought on
tooth decay


Eating lots of fruit 
can rot your teeth, and 
word has it the apple-
growing areas of 
Tasmania have the worst 
examples. Findings on 
the tooth decay effects 
of fruit come from a South 
African study of farm 
workers.

The study found those 
who regularly ate lots 
of fruit were twice as 
likely to suffer dental 
decay compared with those 
who did not eat as much 
fruit. It suggested the 
amount and type of fruit 
eaten could have more of 
an effect on the incidence 
of tooth decay than the 
amount of sugar added to 
food. "It is concluded 
that a high consumption 
of various fruits over 
a long period is associat-
ed with a high caries ex-
perience", said the Uni-
versity of Stellenbosch 
study.

But Sydney Professor Peter 
Barnard said the findings 
were not surprising and 
should not discourage 
people from eating fruit. 
Professor Barnard, associate 
professor in preventive den-
tistry at Sydney University, 
said there was anecdotal 
evidence of high rates of 
dental decay in apple-growing 
areas such as Tasmania. Simil-
arly, the study's fruit-eating 
groups had twice as much 
dental decay as the control 
group, with citrus fruit 
lovers showing the highest 
decay rates.


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