Celebrity chef Pete Evans has hit the headlines again by jumping on a new study out of Canada that links drinking fluoridated water while pregnant with a drop in babies’ IQs.
“This has been known for ages, and this is just the tip of that iceberg,” Evans told News Corp. “Fluoride is a known neurotoxin and it should not be put in our water supply.”
But there are some big problems with the Canadian study.
Dental public health expert Associate Professor Matt Hopcraft tells Mamamia that while the paper reports a lower IQ score in boys, there’s no difference in girls.
He says the authors also note a number of limitations for their study.
“The paper does not prove a link between water fluoridation during pregnancy and lower IQ in children,” he adds.
Watch: It’s not the first time Pete Evans has made questionable health claims. Post continues after video.
Other scientists have poured cold (fluoridated) water on the study, because it’s a small sample of just 400 women, and involves a lot of estimating of fluoride intake by the women involved.
As Dr Michael Foley from the Australian Dental Association explains, there have already been numerous studies done into whether there’s any link between fluoridation and IQ. One, in Sweden, involved 728,000 people. That study showed no association between fluoride levels in water and child or adult IQ.
But the link between fluoridated water and healthier teeth is pretty clear. Aussie kids living in areas with water fluoridation have 26-44 per cent less tooth decay than kids living in areas without water fluoridation.
So here are five things to say to anyone who questions the benefits of fluoride.