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UK mulls ban on sale of energy drinks to kids

31 Aug 2018 • 7 comments

UK mulls ban on sale of energy drinks to kids

Britain's government launched a public consultation Thursday over plans to ban the sale of energy drinks to young people, as it grapples with some of Western Europe's worst child obesity rates.

fizzy drinks

Prime Minister Theresa May wants to prevent retailers from selling popular energy drinks, such as Red Bull, Monster and Relentless, to children because of their high levels of sugar and caffeine.

The government estimates more than two-thirds of 10 to 17-year-olds and a quarter of six to 9-year-olds consume the drinks, which are linked to a host of health and behaviour problems, from headaches to hyperactivity.

"Childhood obesity is one of the greatest health challenges this country faces," May said in a statement. "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."

The plans were first announced in June, alongside a commitment to halve childhood obesity rates by 2030.

The 12-week consultation will ask whether the restrictions should apply to children under 16 or under 18 and if the law should be changed to prevent children from buying them in any situation.

The proposed legislation will prevent the sale of energy drinks that contain more than 150 milligrams of caffeine per litre to children. A 250-millilitre can may contain double that amount - the equivalent of nearly three cans of cola, according to the department of health. 

On average, non-diet energy drinks also contain 60 percent more calories and 65 percent more sugar than regular soft drinks, it said.

Meanwhile nearly a quarter of children in England are obese or overweight by the age of five, rising to one third by the time they leave primary school aged 11. 

Public health advocates welcomed the plans but Tam Fry, of Action On Sugar, said it was "astounding that the government feels that a consultation is required".

"It has been told for years that these drinks are quite unsuitable for children even if they play a lot of sports.

"We need a government that leads rather than going cap-in-hand to the court of popular approval."

Do you think this is a positive development from the government? 

AFP

Comments

lesmal
on 02/09/2018

I agree totally with this development and cannot believe how many children and even adults here drink Red Bull, Monster, Relentless, Coke, Fanta and other drinks high in sugar and caffeine!

These drinks have been unsuitable for both children and adults for years, as well as all the fast food chains around.

It's too easy to buy a 'pie, chips and coke' for lunch, than it is to get a healthy home cooked meal! 

If children and adults cut out these drinks and junk foods, they might be less obese and healthier in the long run.  

JosephineO
on 03/09/2018

@lesmal Thanks for the response lesmal,

Yes, caffeine is certainly not the best thing for a child to be consuming. It will be interesting to see if the ban goes forward.

What do other members think? 

regharman
on 11/09/2018

Hello. I predict that the government will raise the tax on the drinks to 'discourage' people from buying them. That, of course will mean no change at all to obesity levels but will produce more revenue for the government. Little cynic me .

JosephineO
on 11/09/2018

@regharman Hhmm, it will be interesting to see if you're proven right!

Pippadog
on 24/09/2018

My personal opinion about these high sugar, caffeine drinks is that they should be stopped from production. They are dangerous to ones health , it causes a high heart rate, headaches which causes stress to the heart, brain and guts. Another point to consider, although it’s up to the individual to control their intake but they don’t, some drink it frequently to give them a boost to go out in the evening or to do a night shift as well as a day job which is a a lethal combination. I think that answers my  reason to ban the production.

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