Children under the age of 16 could be banned from buying energy drinks under a Labour government, it emerged last night.
The proposal has reportedly been submitted for the party’s election manifesto, amid concern from medical professionals about the caffeine-fuelled beverages.
For the plan to become official party policy, Sir Keir Starmer’s office would need to approve it.
The leader of the opposition said that he would stick up for his party against accusations that it was heading towards a ‘nanny state’.
Recent studies have shown that children who consume energy are more likely to be overweight and develop heart problems.
For the proposal to become party policy, Sir Keir Starmer’s office would it to approve it
A government commissioned-study found that up to a third of children in the UK, particularly boys, drink at least one can every week.
Youngsters also face a higher chance of getting mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and suicide attempts.
Other hazards included poor sleep quality, ADHD symptoms and severe stress.
Scientists who combed through dozens of studies warned sales of the ‘damaging’ drinks, touted for as little as 25p, should be restricted to children.
While many supermarkets have chosen to ban under-16s from purchasing the drinks, they are still available to buy at smaller stores and vending machines.
The government has previously said that they would put a plan in place for under-16s in England in 2019. However, this has not come into place.
In 2022, Wales launched its own consultation on a ban for under-16s.
Drinks such as Red Bull, Prime and Monster can have up to 150mg of caffeine. For comparison, a 250ml cup of coffee has around 90mg.
Energy drinks can also contain up to 21 teaspoons of sugar, making children who drink them more probe to putting on weight.
Experts at Teesside University and Newcastle University, looked at data from 57 studies to probe the effect they have on children.
The studies included more than 1.2million young people, aged nine to 21, from 21 countries.
Results, published in the journal Public Health, show that boys were more likely to consume energy drinks than girls.
Findings revealed the beverages were linked with a higher risk of poor physical health, such as a higher than average body mass index (BMI), heart rhythm problems and high blood pressure.
The NHS advises that energy drinks should not be consumed by young children
Several energy drinks which can be bought in UK shops have more than double the caffeine content on an average cup of coffee (80mg)
In the UK, rules state that any energy drink with more than 150mg of caffeine must be labelled high in caffeine.
The NHS advises that energy drinks should not be consumed by young children.
Last May, a child suffered a ‘cardiac episode’ and needed their stomach pumped after drinking Prime Energy, leading a school to issue a warning to parents about the drink’s ‘harmful effects’.
Prime was launched by YouTube icons KSI and Logan Paul last year. The pair have millions of followers online.
Social media hype around the products led to it quickly selling out in supermarkets, leading to massive queues and rules on how many each customer could buy.
The Labour Party did not want to comment.