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Government propose energy drink ban for under 18s

energy drinks

As part of the Government’s childhood obesity plan, a public consultation has been launched to ban the sale of energy drinks to children.

The government are opening the discussion to decide on the age restriction that a new law would put in place. Bans on energy drink sales to under 16s or under 18s have been suggested.

Energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine and sugar, and UK children are among the highest consumers of energy drinks in Europe. Excessive consumption of the drinks has been linked to obesity and other health issues such as high blood pressure, sleep problems and tooth decay.

Many stores and supermarkets have implemented their own bans on the sale of energy drinks to under 16s, but as this is voluntary, it is possible for children to purchase them at other shops and vending machines.

The proposed government ban would apply to drinks with 150mg of caffeine or more per litre. The average 500ml energy drink contains 160mg; more than double this caffeine limit, while some ‘energy shot’ products contain 160mg of caffeine in just a 60ml bottle.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said: "Children do not need energy drinks to get through the day - they offer nothing more than unnecessary sugar. Restricting the sale of these drinks is another bold step needed to turn the tide on childhood obesity."

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