Dentists in the UK have joined the health debate identifying fizzy drinks as the biggest factor in causing dental erosion among teenagers.

Research published in the British Dental Journal, states that drinking four or more glasses of fizzy drinks a day raises the chance of a 12-year-old suffering from tooth erosion by 252%.

Heavy consumption by 14-year-olds increases the risk to 513%. The dentists claim that unlike tooth decay - which is caused by high levels of sugar - erosion is caused by acidic substances in the drinks making diet versions equally harmful.

The Food Standards Agency has recommended a simpler system of food labels to help to help parents identify levels of salt, fat and sugar in food.

This may involve a traffic light system or the use of the words ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ in bold lettering. The agency is also to decide on maximum daily intake for sugar and fat for children.

Companies will have until next March to improve their labels or risk being named by the agency.

In the US obese Americans may be unable to sue the food industry as a result of what has become known as the “Cheeseburger Bill”.

The House of Representatives voted 276-139 to ban class-action lawsuits that blame food companies for obesity.

The Government is unlikely to implement a ‘fat tax’ on unhealthy foods, according to public health minister Melanie Johnson.

It emerged last month that the prime minister’s strategy unit was considering a tax on fatty food to discourage people from eating it in the same way that tobacco is priced to discourage consumers.

Johnson told a Commons health committee that the government was “not likely” to use such a tax but would monitor other countries if they were to bring it in.