Energy drink sales to under-16s could be banned in Scotland, 2.45243992 1%, health%

Energy drink sales to under-16s could be banned in Scotland

Children could be banned from buying energy drinks in Scotland following a government consultation on drinks high in caffeine.

Shops could be stopped from selling energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster and Relentless to under-16s after the Scottish Government announced it would immediately seek the public’s views about banning their sale.

Research suggests up to a third of young people consume energy drinks frequently, or in large amounts, with 11% drinking them daily and some having three or more in one sitting.

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Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick has announced a consultation on whether to ban energy drink sales to under 16s (Jane Barlow/PA)

Problems associated with the high-caffeine drinks – those containing more than 150 milligrams of caffeine per litre — include sleep problems, headaches, stomachaches and tooth decay.

Scotland’s Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick voiced his concerns about the health risks posed to children by energy drinks and announced a three-month consultation to gather views about the policy.

Announcing the consultation, Mr FitzPatrick said: “Sleep is particularly important for the health and wellbeing of adolescents and poor sleep can negatively affect physical and mental health, as well as educational attainment.

“I welcome the leadership shown by many retailers and publicly-funded leisure centres in banning the sales of energy drinks to under-16s. This builds on regulations in place in schools and hospitals.

“We want to take proportionate action to reduce the health risks associated with young people consuming energy drinks with artificially high levels of caffeine, and responses to this consultation will inform decisions on whether a mandatory sales age restriction of 16 is appropriate and if so, how best to implement the ban.”

Energy drink sales to children have been banned in England and Wales after a UK Government consultation found 93% of respondents said businesses should be banned from selling them to under-16s.

The European Food Safety Authority recommends caffeine consumption by young people is limited to 3 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight per day.

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