The UK government announced that an energy drink ban might come into force across the UK and would interdict the commercialization of this type of beverages to children, in a measure aiming to tackle the increasing obesity rates among kids. According to the latest statistics, more than 65% of the children between 10 and 17 years old and about 25% of those between six and nine consume energy drinks.
Why are energy drinks dangerous to children?
Energy drinks contain several harmful substances for kids, but the concerning compound is the caffeine which is found in high amounts in this type of beverages.
“Popular brands like Red Bull, Monster etc. have more than 150 mg of caffeine in one can,” said Dr. Preethi Daniel from the London Doctors Clinic. Also, a “daily intakes of caffeine up to 3mg/kg body weight do not raise safety concerns,” according to the European Food Safety Authority.
In Canada, however, doctors set a limit of 45 mg of caffeine per day for children, which equals roughly with one can of Coke.
“More worryingly in children, the disturbed sleep caused by the stimulant properties of caffeine has been linked to a range of negative health consequences including weight gain. Children require more sleep than adults, and this is vitally important for healthy growth and development,” said Emma Brown, a nutritionist from the Nutracheck, a calorie tracking app.
Besides caffeine, however, energy drinks also contain preservatives, additives, flavors, and added sugar.
Energy drink ban in the UK to keep children safe
As I’ve mentioned earlier, across the UK, about 65% of the kids aged between 10 and 17 and approximately 25% of those aged six and nine are consuming energy drinks. The situation is concerning local health authorities, and many experts linked energy drink consumption with increased obesity rates the United Kingdom is fighting with for some years now.
That’s why the British government discusses the possibility of implementing an energy drink ban as a method to tackle the high rates of obesity among children aged between six and 17.