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10 Sep 2018

The UK Government is banning the sale of high-sugar, high-caffeine energy drinks to children in England.

Concerns have flared across Britain in recent years over the damage energy drinks are doing to children and teenagers; and a consultation process was implemented to determine the best way to prevent sales to minors.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the consultation formed part of the government’s strategy to tackle childhood obesity.

Energy drinks such as Red Bull and Monster Energy are often sold at cheaper prices than soft drinks in the UK, placing consumption of them by children in that country about 50 per cent higher than that of those in other European nations.

Some large retailers in Britain have already banned sales of energy drinks to young people.

But according to government figures, two-thirds of children aged 10 to 17 and a quarter of those aged six to nine currently drink them.

Government figures also state that sugared energy drinks have 60 per cent more calories and 65 per cent more sugar than regular soft drinks.

However, it is the high level of caffeine in energy drinks that is being used as the major justification for the ban.

Hyperactivity, sleeping problems, headaches and stomach aches in children are often linked to the consumption of energy drinks.

According to reported statistics, a 250ml can of Red Bull contains about 80mg of caffeine, which is about three times that found in a 500ml can of Coca-Cola.

The ban will apply to drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre.

The Conservatives in the UK have taken numerous productive steps in relation to childhood obesity, having already introduced a tax on sugary drinks.

In Australia, no such action has been taken or appears to even be considered.

Instead, the Coalition Government in Canberra has backed a much criticised pledge from the soft drink industry to reduce sugar content in its drinks by 20 per cent by 2025.

The AMA wants the Government to introduce a tax on sugary drinks in Australia.

The AMA has a policy of price differentiation making a difference to people’s behavior.




Published: 10 Sep 2018