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Doctor Calls For Energy Drinks To Be Banned In Australia For Everyone Under 18

Charisa Bossinakis

Published 
| Last updated 

Doctor Calls For Energy Drinks To Be Banned In Australia For Everyone Under 18

A doctor has called for energy drinks to be banned for people under the age of 18 in Australia over fears they can cause a number of health issues.

While penning a question to news.com.au weekly columnist Dr Zac Turner, a mother asked if energy drinks are harmful as her son had developed quite the sweet tooth and is drinking at least two a day.

Turner responded: “We tell our kids to not smoke cigarettes, or drink alcohol because of its effects on their developing bodies and brains — energy drinks are in the same ballpark.”

Turner revealed that energy drinks could have up to 27.5 grams (0.97 ounces) of sugar, which equals two ‘heaped tablespoons’ per serving.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

He also warned that there is no safe amount to drink, especially for young adults, as they can trigger many health issues.

He said: “Energy drinks have been found to increase risk for irregular heart rhythms, disrupt sleep, cause weight gain, cause tooth decay, contribute to mental health problems, and increase risk of diabetes — just to name a few.”

Turner continued: “In terms of studies that have focused on young people consuming energy drinks, they have found an increased risk of sleep issues, poor learning, and poor performance.

“In some cases they have been a factor increasing risk of drug and alcohol use.”

Turner cited the Children’s Food Campaign (FCC) in the UK, a movement to ban the sale of energy drinks to under-18-year-olds, in his call for Australia to do the same.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

The campaign was launched after research conducted by the Science and Technology committee in 2018 discovered the detrimental effects of energy drinks and found that 97 per cent of teachers supported a sales restriction.

Following the study’s release, Children’s Food Co-ordinator Barbara Crowther called for the government to take further action, according to Sustain.

She wrote: “How exactly do they want [the] government to attempt this, by deliberately feeding children energy drinks in the name of science?

"We've spoken to academic researchers and children's rights organisations who believe this would be highly unethical.”

Crowther added: “We hope the government will reject this notion completely and move to introduce a sales ban to all under-18s in 2019. 

"We believe existing evidence is sufficient, not least the weight of parental and teacher concerns about these drinks.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy.

Topics: Food And Drink, Health, News

Charisa Bossinakis
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