Selling energy drinks to under-16s could be banned in Wales

The latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey showed that young people between the ages of 11 and 18 were consuming up to three times the recommended maximum amount of sugar.

Some energy drinks have 21 teaspoons of sugar and the same caffeine as three cups of coffee, with research showing that children who drink at least one energy drink a week are more likely to report symptoms such as headaches, trouble sleeping, stomach upset, low mood and irritability.

There is also evidence that regular consumption of energy drinks is associated with low educational engagement, and concerns have been raised that these caffeinated drinks are interfering with student learning.

Unhealthy foods “more readily available”

Lynne Neagle, Welsh Deputy Secretary of State for Mental Health, said: “We want to hear people’s views on how we can support the nation to live healthier lives and reduce the number of people who are obese or overweight.

“Often, foods high in sugar or high in fat or salt are more readily available and advertised, making it difficult for people to make healthy choices.

“We know this is a difficult time for people as the growing cost of living crisis is putting enormous financial pressure on people. However, we also know that if current trends in obesity and type 2 diabetes continue, more people in Wales will die prematurely from cancer, heart disease and liver disease.

“We need an open and frank conversation about how we can fundamentally change our choices and behavior.

The UK government announced plans to ban the sale of energy drinks to children in 2019 but has not yet made it law. Selling energy drinks to under-16s could be banned in Wales

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