Crash Diets, Bulimia : Eating Problems May Affect Your Teeth

People who use drastic measures to eliminate unwanted pounds may also eliminate something they do want--their teeth, warns the California Dental Assn.

"Two dangerous patterns of eating leading to weight loss--extreme crash diets and bulimia--have a devastating effect on teeth as well as overall health," said William Comport, DDS, chairman of CDA's Council on Dental Health.

"Crash diets, those limiting daily food intake to under 1,000 calories, do not provide enough nutrients to keep your body healthy and active," he said. "Many dieters eliminate milk group foods for the sake of calories, making it nearly impossible to get the calcium the bones--including those which support the teeth--depend on to stay strong and healthy."

Food Choices Restricted

In fact, Comport says, people on 1,000 or fewer calorie-per-day diets have such restricted food choices that it becomes very difficult to get all of their recommended servings from the four food groups--milk, meat, vegetables and fruits, breads and cereals. Two servings daily from the milk and meat groups and four servings daily from the vegetables/fruits and breads/cereals groups are recommended for adults to maintain optimum nutrition.

"If a person wishes to lose weight, their best bet is to eat low-calorie foods from the four food groups and keep their calorie levels above 1,200 daily," Comport suggested. "This plan provides the nutrients to keep teeth and gums healthy while keeping pounds off."

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