It isn’t a secret that the United States has been fighting obesity for awhile now. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) took action and funded Temple University Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry in collaboration with the Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE), to develop the “Nutrition Counseling and Obesity Prevention Handbook.” The handbook is a new resource for the dental community to help prevent childhood obesity.
What advantage do dentists have over pediatricians that will help combat childhood obesity? The American Dental Association acknowledges that eating patterns and food choices play a major role in maintaining good oral health and the American Dental Hygienists Association stresses the importance of evaluating patients’ nutritional history and dietary practices. According to the handbook, there are many behavioral factors that affect oral health and child weight status. Dental professionals are well-positioned to comprehensively evaluate a child’s dietary and nutritional behaviors, assess risk and provide appropriate counseling to children and families to prevent obesity and dental caries.