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Government considers energy drinks ban for children

The goverment could introduce a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children and young people in England following concerns that they are harmful to their health.

FOOD & DRINK

Government considers energy drinks ban for children

The goverment could introduce a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children and young people in England following concerns that they are harmful to their health.

It has launched a public consultation on a proposal that would see a ban applied to drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre. It would also prevent all retailers from selling the drinks to children.

It follows the publication of the latest chapter of the government’s childhood obesity plan in June 2018, which outlines a series of measures to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

The consultation will look at whether the restrictions should apply to children under 16 or under 18 and whether the law should be changed to prevent children from buying them in any situation.

Many major retailers will not sell energy drinks to children but young people can still buy them from vending machines and at some independent convenience stores.

According to government figures, over two-thirds of 10 to 17 year-olds and a quarter of six to nine year-olds consume energy drinks. The goverment says excessive consumption by children has been linked to a range of health issues such as headaches, sleep problems, 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. We are asking the public for their views on the matter, to ensure energy drinks are not being excessively consumed by children.”

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