Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Children banned from buying caffeine-laden energy drinks

Image    The government says it has a 'responsibility to protect children' Image The government says it has a 'responsibility to protect children'
Rhonda Young | 30 August, 2018, 16:38

The principal justification for the ban is the high level of caffeine in the energy drinks, which has been linked to a string of health problems for children, including head and stomach aches, as well as hyperactivity and sleep problems.

Shops that flout the ban will face fines of up to £2,500, the same penalty for selling cigarettes to under-18s.

How big a problem is it?

United Kingdom energy drink sales jumped by around one-fifth (19%) between 2012 and 2017, according to analysis from market researchers Mintel.

Some 669 million litres were sold past year with total sales estimated at £1.65 billion.

More than two-thirds of 10-17 year-olds and a quarter of six to nine year olds consume energy drinks, according to No 10.

Surveys from teachers unions have also suggested that they contribute to poor behaviour in classrooms, although claims they can alter behaviour have been contested.

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Why does it need to be banned?

Energy drinks are already banned for sale to children by many major retailers, but children can still buy them from vending machines and many independent convenience stores, for example.

Meanwhile almost 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. Treating weight related issues cost taxpayers more than £5 billion in 2014/15.

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".

Adolescents in Britain who drink energy drinks consume around 50 per cent more than their counterparts in Europe, the statement said.

What will be included in a ban?

Stock photo of an energy drink.

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"We decided not to sell to under-18s but if they look under 21 we just don't sell it to them", she said.

The drinks contain high levels of caffeine and sugar, often much more than those of standard soft drinks.

The ban would apply to drinks containing 150 milligrams of caffeine or more per litre. "You can't go saying you can have it or you can't". You can also have sex, join the Army and, in Welsh elections, vote at 16.

He was on a high during the day. but the come down off the energy drinks was too much. Children and teenagers drink them more than adults, even though industry labelling guidelines state that any soft drink with more than 150mg of caffeine per litre must carry a warning about its content and state that it is not recommended for children. In March, several major supermarket chains announced that they would ban the sale of energy drinks to children under 16.

Has the Sugar Tax helped?

The levy on high sugar items is meant to make it less economical for people to purchase unhealthy food.

The sale of energy drinks could be banned to anybody under 18 in England, Prime Minister Theresa May has said.

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"It's therefore worrying that so many young people are buying these drinks at low prices and consuming them on a regular basis".

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