Kids are having energy drinks for breakfast - of course they need to be banned

12 June 2024, 07:38

Kids are having energy drinks for breakfast - of course they need to be banned
Kids are having energy drinks for breakfast - of course they need to be banned. Picture: LBC
Johnny Jenkins

By Johnny Jenkins

Energy drinks are toxic - why are we selling them to children?

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Labour has announced its plan to ban the sale of energy drinks to under-16s. It’s a no-brainer!

The Conservatives have previously pledged to make the sale of energy drinks illegal but canned the idea after pressure from backbenchers.

The Labour Party made the same announcement this week. Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said that children are arriving at school “wired on the equivalent of three shots of espresso”.

I enjoy a strong black coffee, but this level of caffeine is not suitable for kids, let alone first thing in the morning.

Green or pink drinks in loud fluorescent cans have never really appealed to me, but I have tried an occasional sip. They may be sweet and tasty, but they leave me buzzing for hours.

When internet sensations Logan Paul and KSI released the Prime energy drink 18 months ago, there were stampedes in the shopping aisles.

Adults were pushed around and children as young as seven purchased the products.

Given the public demand for the products, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these drinks are highly addictive and dangerous for both adults and children.

A diet of E numbers mixed with caffeine isn’t good for anybody, let alone our youngest and most impressionable.

TV chef and healthy-eating campaigner Jamie Oliver has backed the Labour plan, saying that kids are “coming to school having energy drinks for breakfast”.

“It is not healthy - we are talking three or four shots of espresso in one of these tins, loads of sugar”

He’s not wrong when he calls it “an absolute nightmare”.

We’ve come a long way from Oliver’s turkey twizzler moment in 2005, but these drinks are still in school bags across the nation.

They’re damaging our children’s bodies and minds. Nutrition expert Professor Amelia Lake told Iain Dale on LBC: “these drinks are associated with a range of physical health effects”, including headaches, rotting teeth and weight gain.

It’s important to recognise that most supermarkets have implemented a ban on the sale of these drinks to under-sixteens.

But, according to the British Medical Journal, a third of children in the UK consume energy drinks every week. That number needs to come down.

In such a health-conscious world, I’ve got no idea why energy drinks are still on the shelves.

Children should get their energy from running around the playground, not from a can of chemicals.