NWHB Launches Cool Drinks Cool Smiles

19 Dec 2002

The NWHB has just launched an innovative project - Cool Drinks Cool Smiles - aimed at promoting healthier drink choices for First Year post primary students in selected Donegal schools.

Micheal O'Giobvin Principal Colaiste Ailigh and Nader Farvardin Principal Dental Surgeon pouring cool drinks for students of the school as part of the NWHB Health Promotions strategy to encourage children to drink water. Students prictured are Ciara Ni Raifeartaigh, Micheal Maolchiaran, Ciarn Ni Gallchoir and Seamus O'Brollachain.

With adolescence a period when the risk for dental problems is especially high, the project co-ordinators selected a number of post primary schools across the county and provided them with a healthier alternative to the soft drinks machine - cool water and/ or milk dispensers.

A resource pack and training workshop for teachers in the schools is being developed in tandem. The First Year groups will now attempt to remain "fizzy drink" free for an agreed period with successful classes winning attractive prizes.

According Dr. Nader Farvardin, Principal Dental Surgeon,"the consumption of soft drinks is a significant factor in the teenage diet. Frequent use of soft drinks can lead to erosion of the tooth structure."

Outlining how soft drink consumption has increased dramatically in the last ten years nationally, Dr Farvardin said the trends "indicate that this will continue unless the attitudes towards these drinks are changed."

Increased concern is also being expressed about the long-term effects of soft drinks displacing milk in the diet of girls. According to NWHB Education Officer Anne McAteer "If teenage girls do not get enough dietary calcium in these vulnerable years they increase the risk of developing osteoporosis in later life."

The Cool Drinks Cool Smiles project is being implemented by the NWHB Dental Services in conjunction with the Health Promotion Services and funded by the Dental Health Foundation Ireland.

For further information contact:
Ann McLoone
087 2957225
or visit the North Western Health Board's website at www.nwhb.ie

At the launch are seated from left Breeda Hyland, Dental Health Foundation, Deirdre Sadlier, Dental Health Foundation, Nader Farvardin, Principal Dental Surgeon, NWHB and Ann Harkin, NWHB Health Promotion. Back from left Ciara Ni Raifeartaigh, Ciarn Ni Gallchoir, Colaiste Ailigh, Ancy Moore, NWHB Dental Department, Anne McAteer, NWHB Health Promotion, Rita Gleeson Mulroy College, Milford, Michael Maolchiaran and Seamus O'Brollachain Colaiste Ailigh