The fight against obesity may start with a trip to the dentist. Yale University School of Public Health has uncovered an interesting correlation between obesity rates and the concentration of dentists in different areas of the United States.
LOWER OBESITY RATES LINKED TO PREVALENCE OF DENTISTS
While oral health is a key aspect of total bodily well-being, the role that dentists play in combating obesity has never been studied. Recently, Yale researchers examined national data broken down by counties within states. From this information, they recognized a link between prevalence of dentists and the recorded obesity rates. For each additional dentist per 10,000 people in a county, the obesity rate dropped 1%.
Even in counties where over 25% of children live in poverty, the relationship between dentists and lowered obesity was maintained. Income levels and higher poverty rates are associated with an increase in obesity, making this a crucial piece of evidence.
The next step for researchers is to determine why this relationship exists in order to utilize this to help combat obesity in America. They suggest that those who regularly go to the dentist may be more health-conscious, consume less sugar, and take steps to control weight. Dentists may also be promoting behaviors that encourage healthier living.
This information may be used to implement specific strategies in dentist’s offices for better health. Dentists identify what a person consumes and how this effects their teeth. When encouraging children against the consumption of high-fat foods and sugary soft drinks, dentists may be paving the way for eating habits that will benefit their overall health.
Good dental habits have been shown to correlate with good health habits. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take a trip to a dentist to ensure oral health! Schedule an appointment with the Bedford Dental Group and make the step to better health today.