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UK Government Set To Ban Sales Of Energy Drinks To Under 16s, According To Reports

Claire Reid

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UK Government Set To Ban Sales Of Energy Drinks To Under 16s, According To Reports

The UK government is set to ban the sale of energy drinks to under 16s, according to reports.

While most big retailers, such as Tesco and Co-Op, currently refuse to sell energy drinks to children, it's not actually against the law... yet.

However, in a leaked letter seen by the Sun, it appears as though Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to introduce a ban on the drinks to under 16s.

The letter from Hancock reads in part: "Following a high level of interest in the consultation, we plan on announcing that we will be ending the sale of energy drinks to children under the age of 16."

The UK government looks set to introduce a ban on the sale of high-energy drinks to kids. Credit: PA
The UK government looks set to introduce a ban on the sale of high-energy drinks to kids. Credit: PA

The letter reportedly goes on to say he is 'taking a precautionary approach to mitigate the potential negative effects associated with their excessive consumption by children'.

The announcement will come after a Department of Health consultation looked into the effects of energy drinks, including Red Bull and Monster, on kids, such as fuelling obesity and causing headaches and hyperactivity.

One person who is likely to be celebrating a ban is celebrity chef turned healthy-eating evangelist Jamie Oliver who has previously spoken out about kids and energy drinks.

"We have a massive problem with kids and energy drinks," he told the Sun last year.

"Too many children are regularly using them to replace breakfast. Teachers from across the country have told me how their lessons are disrupted in classrooms because of these drinks, packed with stimulants.

"The energy drinks industry has never thought these products were suitable for children.

"They even say 'not for children' on the labels! The sale to kids should be stopped as soon as possible.

"It's really great news that the government is announcing their intention to stop selling these drinks to kids.

Telly chef Jamie Oliver has said he supports a ban on kids buying energy drinks. Credit: PA
Telly chef Jamie Oliver has said he supports a ban on kids buying energy drinks. Credit: PA

"I'm sure parents and health experts across the UK will happily tell the government this is the right thing to do."

Teachers' union NASUWT has also supported a ban in the past, with Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, saying last year: "Schools do all they can to provide an environment conducive to learning, but they can't control what's on sale beyond the school gates.

"If the Government is serious about protecting children, it needs to put their interests before the profits of the energy drinks industry and ban the sale of these harmful products to under 16s."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, UK News, Politics

Claire Reid
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