Kids’ obesity all Richie McCaw’s fault, says doctor


Some anti-sugar lobbyists think they?re doing a great job in the battle to stop Kiwi kids getting fatter.

Then there are some like Dr Rob Beaglehole who sadly, start to believe their own kool-aid and lose perspective. Today we see such an example. ?

Stuff has the alarming headline ?Sugary drinks and junk food blamed as kids have rotten baby teeth pulled out? where Rob Beaglehole tells stories about having to pull rotten teeth out of an 18 month old.

?Dentist and veteran anti-sugar lobbyist Rob Beaglehole said he pulled several teeth on Monday from an 18-month-old, and had once treated a 2-year-old who had been drinking Coke from a baby bottle. The child’s teeth had?dissolved down to the gum line?and were bleeding.

Beaglehole, a father of two and principal dental officer for Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, recently extracted 11 teeth from a 3-year-old whose parents had let him drink Coke from a sipper bottle to “keep him happy”.

In the article they show a twitter conversation where Carrick Graham asked Rob Beaglehole a good question. The full twitter conversation should be shown as it shows Richie McCaw and the All Blacks getting the blame for kids having rotten teeth.


Now Rob Beaglehole at least is not a bad bloke and obviously means well. He?s emailed me in the past about these issues, but this time his lines don?t stack up.

His example of a toddler in nappies doesn?t make sense. Toddlers don?t understand advertising and, last time I looked, Coke doesn?t advertise to them.

Toddlers also don?t take themselves off the corner dairy and buy themselves a Coke.

Rob Beaglehole has picked the one example where parents are completely responsible. Clearly, if parents are giving their toddlers Coke, then they?re complete idiots. Maybe his messaging to the parents needs to be a bit stronger? Or get CYPS involved and get them to take the toddlers off the parents who clearly have no idea about what?s good for a baby and what?s not.

But blaming Richie McCaw and the All Backs for using sponsors’ products and causing toddlers? teeth problems is stretching the argument a little bit.

But hey, never mind the line ?never lets facts stand in the way of a good story?.