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Children to be banned from buying energy drinks under new Government clampdown

2 min read

Ministers are set to ban the sale of highly-caffeinated energy drinks to children in a bid to clamp down on childhood obesity and disruptive behaviour.

Sugary brands such as Red Bull and Monster will be among the products no longer available to young people, with shops facing fines of up to £2,500 should they flout the rules.

The Government is to launch a 12-week consultation on whether to set the legal age limit, which would only apply in England, at 16 or 18.

The move comes after excessive consumption of the drinks was found to be fuelling major health issues in young people including headaches, sleeping problems and stomach aches alongside hyperactivity.

More than two-thirds of 10 to 17-year-olds and a quarter of 6 to 9-year-olds consume the drinks, according to Downing Street.

A ban imposed by some retailers on selling the drinks to under-16s was found to have failed to stem the problems posed by the drinks, which can cost as little as 25p in major retailers.

Speaking during her tour of Africa, Theresa May said: “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.”

Steve Brine, the public health minister, 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.

“Our children already consume 50 per cent more of these drinks than our European counterparts, and teachers have made worrying links between energy drinks and poor behaviour in the classroom.”

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