Following a consultation seeking views on a proposed ban on selling energy drinks to children, the UK Government has now announced that it will go ahead.
Although some major retailers already prohibit sales of these drinks to the under-16s, including Morrisons and Waitrose, the high-sugar brews are currently still available to them via plenty of outlets on the high street.
But now, in documents published late last month, the Government states: “Research has suggested that excessive consumption of energy drinks by children may affect some children adversely. In addition, energy drink consumption has also been associated with unhealthy behaviours and deprivation.
It revealed that the consultation gained ‘overwhelming public support’; in fact a massive 93% of respondents agreed that businesses should be banned from selling the drinks to the under-16s.
Research has suggested that excessive consumption of energy drinks by children may affect some children adversely. In addition, energy drink consumption has also been associated with unhealthy behaviours and deprivation
“Teachers and health professionals, in particular, were strong in their support for the government to take action,” it says. “Therefore, we can now announce that the government will end the sale of energy drinks to children under the age of 16.”
Responding to the move, Dr Kawther Hashem, nutritionist at Action on Sugar, says: “We certainly support the ban on the sale of energy drinks to under 16-year-olds in a bid to help to reduce childhood obesity. However, we also urge drink manufacturers to reformulate their energy drinks where sugar, calorie and caffeine content remain at concerning high levels.”
The Government says it will shortly set out the full policy in its consultation response.