Children and young people in the UK may soon no longer be able to purchase energy drinks, as part of the Government’s battle against sugar and childhood obesity.
Ministers have started a consultation which could see the sale of the sugary drinks prohibited to under 16s or under 18s.
It is believed that two-thirds of children and young people aged 10-17 consume energy drinks, some of which can be purchased for as little as 30p. It is thought a quarter of 6-9-year-olds are also known to have consumed energy drinks.
The consultation comes after not only concerns about sugar but also concerns over other health issues. One small can of an energy drink may contain almost as much caffeine as three cans of cola, which is known to lead to sleep problems, headaches, stomach aches, and hyperactivity.
Public Health Minister, Steve Brine said “We all have a responsibility to protect children from products that are damaging to their health and education, and we know that drinks packed to the brim with caffeine, and often sugar, are becoming a common fixture of their diet.”
“Our children already consume 50% more of these drinks than our European counterparts, and teachers have made worrying links between energy drinks and poor behaviour in the classroom.”
The consultation has received criticism from Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum, who said it was “astounding” that the government was using a consultation on the issue.
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