Public asked for opinion on banning the sale of energy drinks to children & young people

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Energy drinks are all the rage among children and young people.

However, the government is seeking views from the public on ending the sale of energy drinks to children and young people in England.

Ban on high caffeine drinks

The consultation proposes that a ban would apply to any drinks that contain more than 150mg of caffeine per litre and prevent all retailers from selling the drinks to children.

The move comes as the government published its childhood obesity plan in June 2018.

The childhood obesity plan highlighted the measures as well as commitment to halve obesity in children by 2030.

Getting around the trader

Despite major retailers already banning the sale of energy drinks to children.

Children are still able to buy them via vending machines.

Smaller convenience stores are also allowing the sale of energy drinks to children.

It is thought that in the UK more than two thirds of all 10-17 year olds and a quarter of 6 to 9 year olds consume energy drinks.

An energy drink can contain 80mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to 3 cans of cola.

Typically you will find that the majority of energy drinks contain 60% more calories and 65% more sugar than other regular soft drinks.

Other Health impacts

Besides obesity excessive drinking of energy drinks can lead to further health issues within children including:

  1. headaches
  2. sleep problems
  3. stomach aches
  4. hyperactivity

Prime Minister, Theresa May said:

Childhood obesity is one of the greatest health challenges this country faces, and that’s why we are taking significant action to reduce the amounts of sugar consumed by young people and to help families make healthier choices.

Our plans to tackle obesity are already world leading, but we recognise much more needs to be done and as part of our long-term plan for the NHS, we are putting a renewed focus on the prevention of ill-health.

With thousands of young people regularly consuming energy drinks, often because they are sold at cheaper prices than soft drinks, we will consult on banning the sale of energy drinks to children.

It is vital that we do all we can to make sure children have the best start in life and I encourage everyone to put forward their views.

The consultation closes on the 21st November 2018.

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