Teachers call for schools to introduce a ban on energy drinks

December 12th, 2017
Teachers call for schools to introduce a ban on energy drinks

One of the UK’s leading teachers’ unions has called for schools to introduce a ban on energy drinks.

Members of the NASUWT have appealed to schools to ban energy drinks on school premises amid concerns about high levels of caffeine. According to the union, the caffeine content renders energy drinks “readily available legal highs”, which can have a negative impact on children’s behavioural patterns.

The calls come after the publication of a report, which urged the government to restrict the sale of energy drinks to over 16’s.

In response to the calls, the British Soft Drinks Association claims that the drinks have been branded safe.

According to research conducted by FUSE, the Centre for Transitional Research in Public Health in the North East, children as young as 10 are buying energy drinks from shops and supermarkets because they are cheaper than water and fizzy drinks like cola. Children involved in the survey said that they could buy the products from as little as 25p and stated that the main reasons they bought them were to “look tough” and “fit in” with the crowd. Research also discovered that children are being targeted by manufacturers via Internet adverts, online pop-ups and computer games.

Despite the fact that some energy drinks contain warnings stating that the product is not recommended for youngsters, many children are still buying energy drinks, which contain around 32mg of caffeine per 100ml. The content of an average 500ml bottle (160mg of caffeine) is equivalent to two shots of espresso. The European Food Safety Authority recommends a maximum intake of 105mg of caffeine for children aged 11.  Figures from the British Soft Drinks Association show that sales have increased by 185 percent in the last decade. The industry is now worth more than £2 billion.

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