U.K. Could Ban Sale of Energy Drinks to Children to Boost Health

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. could ban the sale of energy drinks to children in an effort to fight childhood obesity and hyperactivity.

The government will hold a public consultation on its plan to introduce legislation to bar the sale of caffeine-laden drinks to children and young adults, Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said late Wednesday in a statement. It didn’t refer to specific brands.

The proposals add to government efforts to boost child health, including measures to cut sugar in soft drinks. Excessive consumption of energy drinks has been linked to headaches, sleep problems, stomach aches and hyperactivity in children, as well as obesity and tooth decay, May’s office said.

“It is vital that we do all we can to make sure children have the best start in life and I encourage everyone to put forward their views,” May said.

More than two thirds of 10-17-year-olds and a quarter of 6-9-year-olds consume energy drinks, and British adolescents consume about 50 percent more than their European counterparts, according to the government.

Ministers are proposing to set a threshold of 150 milligrams of caffeine per liter for the ban on drinks. They’re asking for views on whether the age of 16 or 18 should be the threshold for the ban, and on how it could be applied to vending machines.

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