Delta Dental suggests you ‘rethink your drink’ and consider healthy options

Summer’s almost here and it’s time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. This is also the time of year when consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages increases, and Delta Dental and BCN want you to “rethink your drink” this summer.

Let’s not sugarcoat it

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are beverages with added sugar. These include soda pop, juice/fruit drinks, sweetened teas/coffees, flavored waters, chocolate milk, and sports and energy drinks. Consumption of SSBs can lead to tooth decay and other health issues in both children and adults.

In fact, drinking soda pop nearly doubles the risk of cavities in children.

Further, the sugar in SSBs feeds the bacteria that produce acid in your mouth, which attacks and dissolves tooth enamel. It’s also important to know that, despite having more nutrients and containing only natural (not added) sugar, 100-percent fruit juice typically contains as much sugar and calories as soda pop.

So, when you or your children are thirsty, reach for a cold glass of water instead of a sugar-sweetened beverage!

How Much Added Sugar is Too Much?

Here are the recommended daily limits:

  • Newborns and Infants: None
  • Toddlers and Preschoolers: 4 tsp. (16g)
  • Children Ages 4-8: 3 tsp. (12g)
  • Pre-teens and Teenagers: 5-8 tsp. (20-32g)
  • Adult Women: 6 tsp. (24g)
  • Adult Men: 9 tsp. (36g)

Did You Know?

  • Four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon.
  • A typical 20-ounce soda pop or juice/fruit drink contains 15-18 teaspoons of sugar — the same as in three candy bars!
  • Drinking one 12-ounce soda pop each day increases a child’s chances of becoming obese by 60 percent.
  • People who drink one or two cans of soda pop a day have a 26 percent greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Some tips for sipping

So how do you encourage kids (and adults!) to put down the soda pop and make a better choice?

  • Reduce the number and portion size of SSBs — drink them only once in a while, and only 8 or fewer ounces.
  • Freeze 100-percent fruit juice in an ice cube tray, and then add one frozen cube to a glass of water.
  • Add a splash of 100-percent fruit juice to plain water.
  • Add zest to your water with fresh fruit slices such as lemon or lime.
  • Stock the fridge with a jug of cold water and bottled water for those on the go.
  • Choose water or milk (1 percent or nonfat for those older than age 2).
  • Don’t let babies and toddlers carry sippy cups or bottles containing SSBs (and no bottles in bed).
  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for two minutes each time and floss once a day.

If your business doesn’t offer dental coverage for you and your employees, contact BCN Services to learn more about why a comprehensive dental plan is an important benefit. We have several affordable plan options available. Contact us for more information or call 800-891-9911.

Source: Delta Dental

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When is a worker considered an Independent Contractor?

Using independent contractors can be a good way for companies to meet their business goals. However, doing so may put you at risk as the U.S. Department of Labor investigates many instances of contractors as employees.

Addressing this misclassification has become a key government priority. DOL spokeswoman Mary Beth Maxwell recently called “the misclassification of workers as a serious problem for affected employees and employers and to the company.” Additionally, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division continues to focus with great urgency on misclassification by launching many related investigations and lawsuits.

If your company relies on independent contractors, be proactive in auditing how you use them. Once you have determined the classifications, be sure to update independent contractor agreements. Although these agreements do not conclusively establish independent contractor status, these agreements are an important factor in determining who can be classified as an independent contractor.

The agreements should establish some of the following for the worker and you should enter into a new agreement for each project:

  • Uses own equipment and tools
  • May perform services for other businesses
  • Can assign tasks to others
  • Provides his/her own liability insurance and benefits
  • Not eligible for employee benefits
  • Has his/her own business and tax ID number
  • Has the opportunity to receive bonuses or chargebacks

Do not provide independent contractors with job descriptions, business cards, computers, office space or training.

No single factor will determine the outcome of a misclassification inquiry and every work relationship may be assessed differently. But most federal judges apply the following test to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

  • Does the worker or company control the details of the work?
  • Does the worker or company supply the equipment needed to do the work?
  • Does the worker have an opportunity to make a profit or suffer a loss in performing the work at issue?
  • Is the relationship between the company and worker permanent or temporary, and is the work of an “on again/off again” nature?
  • Does the job require worker skill and initiative?

An additional way to help create a good-faith defense and show that the business practices comply with the FLSA is to perform an FLSA classification audit.



Debbie Strahle, Partnership Manager