Gone are the days of kids stocking up on Red Bull to feel super-cool at the school disco – youngsters are set to be banned from buying energy drinks in shops.
Government ministers have launched a 12-week consultation today on scrapping sales of the high-energy beverages to help cut obesity statistics.
The ban would apply to drinks with at least 150mg of caffeine per litre, such as Red Bull and would be implemented for teens either under 16 or 18 – the government has asked for opinions on this decision.
The consultation comes after Jamie Oliver’s campaign ‘Can It!’ highlighted the link between the consumption of energy drinks and childhood obesity.
The drinks contain high levels of both caffeine and sugar – one 250ml can of Red Bull contains about 80mg of caffeine – equivalent to nearly threecans of cola.
The TV chef has welcome the consultation by ministers and told the Mirror: “We have a massive problem with kids and energy drinks.
“Too many children are regularly using them to replace breakfast. Teachers from across the country have told me how their lessons are disrupted in classrooms because of these drinks, packed with stimulants.
“The energy drinks industry has never thought these products were suitable for children.
“They even say ‘not for children’ on the labels! The sale to kids should be stopped as soon as possible.
“It’s really great news that the government is announcing their intention to stop selling these drinks to kids.
“I’m sure parents and health experts across the UK will happily tell the government this is the right thing to do.”
The plan to combat obesity with banning energy drinks from being purchased by youngsters was announced by UK Prime Minister Theresa May during her recent three-day trip to Africa.
She 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 recognisemuch 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.”
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