Many manufacturers of energy drinks display warnings that the products are not recommended for children due to their high caffeine content. The Welsh Government has this week stated that it wishes to introduce a ban on the sale of energy drinks, and any other products deemed to have a high caffeine content, including tea and coffee!
The ban would apply, if it were to become law, in all retail outlets as well as online and vending machines. The primary evidence being offered by the Welsh Government for suggesting a ban is that the voluntary code is not dissuading young people from acquiring energy drinks and they are experiencing poor dietary outcomes, with many consuming these drinks every day. There are studies, the consultation paper suggests, that show children to incur low psychological, physical, educational, and overall well-being, such as headaches, sleep problems, alcohol use, smoking, irritability, and school exclusion.
In the UK, 21% of grocery stores implement voluntary age restrictions, the Welsh Government intends to ‘level the playing pitch’ – will it be long before a similar call is heard here? Voluntary codes never appease the critics – they will always want to use the iron fist.