The government has today launched a public consultation on its plans to to make it illegal to sell energy drinks to children.
It’s understood that the government is asking for views on what age the ban should apply to, but gave under 16 and under 18 as options.
There have been growing concerns about the link between the energy drinks and an array of health concerns given that energy drinks contain high levels of sugar and caffeine.
UK children are among the highest consumers of energy drinks in Europe, according to research.
Today we’re launching our consultation to potentially end the sale of energy drinks to children, as part of the 2nd chapter of the #ChildhoodObesityPlan. Share your views here: https://t.co/0YEvFYVqQX #GrowingUpHealthy pic.twitter.com/WASlRowb6Q
— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) August 30, 2018
Excessive consumption has been linked to a range of health issues in children; including obesity, tooth decay, headaches and sleep problems to 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.”
Food labelling laws already state that any soft drink with more than 150mg of caffeine per litre must carry a warning about its high caffeine content and are not recommended for children or pregnant or breastfeeding women.
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.
“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.”