Uk health charity the Oral Health Foundation is calling for a complete ban on the sale of energy drinks to under 16s in the United Kingdom, which it says contain “obscene amounts of caffeine and sugar”.
The charity says a ban is likely to be supported by most parents. New research it has conducted more than nine in ten (93%) British adults would back a ban, rising to 98% among adults with children.
Some national supermarkets in the UK introduced a ban earlier this year on the sale of energy drinks to under 16s, with those buying drinks with over 150mg of caffeine per litre needing to provide proof of age.
However, the Oral Health Foundation does not believe a voluntary ban will be effective in reducing young people’s exposure to energy drinks.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the charity, says there is an urgent and necessary need to protect children from the enormous health risks that consuming excessive amounts of energy drinks cause.
“Energy drinks contain an obscene amount of caffeine and sugar, resulting in concerns around behaviour as well as health”
Dr Carter says: “Energy drinks contain an obscene amount of caffeine and sugar, resulting in concerns around behaviour as well as health.
“Many energy drinks contain more than twice the daily allowance of sugar for a child. The potential damage caused to oral health alone is extreme and has contributed to thousands of children in the UK having rotten teeth removed in hospital every year.
“The voluntary ban by supermarkets earlier this year is highly applauded, but it is simply not going to influence the amount of energy drinks we are seeing being consumed by young children.”
Picture: Energy drinks, Daniel Juřena, Creative Commons.