Aug. 30 (UPI) — Authorities in England are seeking to ban energy drink sales to children under 16 due to the negative health effects of high amounts of caffeine and sugar.
A consultation will be unveiled on Thursday to get public opinion on how the ban, which would apply to drinks with more than 150 mg of caffeine, should be implemented. One of the questions will be whether the legal age to buy should be raised to 18.
The ban would only apply to England for now. Authorities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will be able to make their own restrictions on the drinks.
“Childhood obesity is one of the greatest health challenges this country faces, and that’s why we are taking significant action to reduce the amounts of sugar consumed by young people and to help families make healthier choices,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement. “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.”
The push for the ban comes after a report from Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, urged the government to restrict sales of the drinks after they were found to be linked to obesity and possibly cause “headaches, palpitations and insomnia and higher rates of alcohol, smoking and drug use.”