I thought this was a joke when I saw the headline, but it’s not. An Australian sports authority for netball has banned oranges at games due to the potential for damage to kid’s teeth. I’m not kidding.
The umbrella body for 82 netball associations has sanctioned the ban based on the high acid levels of oranges and the potential damage to children’s teeth. “Most of our associations have banned oranges at half-time or are discouraging coaches from offering oranges,” said a Netball Queensland spokeswoman.
Netball Queensland’s consultant dietitian Kerry Leech said acidity was the problem. “When players come off the court at half-time they’re generally a bit dehydrated and the worst thing for teeth in that environment is acid, because it erodes the enamel,” Ms Leech said. “So we’re encouraging fluids to re-hydrate at half-time rather than eating half an orange.”
For real? My players have chewed on orange slices at games in hot weather forever. It’s not about re-hydration – it’s about the boost of sugar and such. Plus the kids LIKE them. If a kid eats an orange slice then drinks water, essentially washing the acid away – are we really that concerned about the potential for tooth decay? And if the kids are regularly brushing anyway – is the risk that bad to necessitate a ban like this? Something tells me there is no study about kids eating oranges after athletic activity and does it damage enamel more than normal. But now there’s a control group!
Can you imagine USYSA or USSF trying to mandate a ban like this is the US?