Children under the age of 16 won’t be able to buy energy drinks at UK supermarkets, after many have expressed concerns over the high levels of sugar and caffeine the products contain.
Waitrose was the first one to announce at the beginning of January this year, that they will adopt the measure starting March 5th. From today, customers will be asked to prove their age when buying drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre.
Other supermarkets like Asda, Tesco, Aldi, Lidls, Sainsbury’s and the Co-op, as well as the pharmacy Boots are following the example of Waitrose.
Well-known chef Jamie Oliver, who is involved with the charity Action on Sugar told the Guardian:
“To see a health brand like Boots join the ban on energy drinks to under-16s is brilliant. Our retailers are doing the right thing for the health of our children and now it’s time for government to step up, close the loop and implement a ban.”
In January this year, MP Maria Caulfield raised the issue and called for a national ban after a 25-year-old man committed suicide. The victim’s family was sure his intake of 15 cans of energy drink a day had increase his anxiety.
Prime Minister Teresa May, recognised that energy drinks can be really damaging for young people’s health. In addition, the government has introduced a new tax on sugar sweetened drinks which will take effect on April 2018.
Red Bull, Monster Energy and Rockstar have gained popularity among youngsters in the past years. Children and teenagers are the biggest consumers in the UK even though they are not recommended for children due to the high content of caffeine which is detrimental for their health and can increase anxiety.