The Government has announced that it is considering a ban on energy drinks for children.
The ban would apply to drinks that contain more than 150mg of caffeine per litre and 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 ,which outlines a series of measures as well as a commitment to halve childhood obesity by 2030.
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.
More than two-thirds of 10- to 17-year-olds and a quarter of 6- to 9-year-olds consume energy drinks. A 250ml can of energy drink can contains around 80mg of caffeine – the equivalent of nearly 3 cans of cola. On average, non-diet energy drinks also contain 60% more calories and 65% more sugar than other, regular soft drinks.
The Prime Minister Theresa May 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 recognise much 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.’