The BBC has reported that a recent investigation into the effects of consuming energy drinks has resulted in the NASUWT, one of the United Kingdom’s largest teaching unions, calling for such highly-caffeinated drinks to be banned from sale to under-16s.
The report by FUSE found that children are buying energy drinks because ‘they are cheaper than water’ and it allows children ‘to fit in or look tough’. Statistics from the British Soft Drinks’ Association show an increase in sales of 185% between 2006 and 2015.
With a recommended intake of 105g of caffeine per day for the average 11-year old, many energy drinks are exceeding this allowance with an average of 160mg in a 500ml can. Considering such drinks are widely promoted via TV, computer games and sports sponsorship, concerns are growing for young people consuming such energy drinks.
Darren Northcott, NASUWT national official for education, reported: “Teachers have registered concerns with the NASUWT about the contribution of high energy drinks to poor pupil behaviour as a result of pupils consuming excessive quantities of these drinks.”
Children become highly stimulated and are unable to focus on their work for substantial periods when such energy drinks are consumed. Yet more also needs to be done to educate young people about the effects of such drinks.
Evolve have recently been delivery ‘Healthy Heart’ talks in association with Heart Research UK all across the country. However, one of the practitioners explained: “A Year 4 pupil in one of my workshops stated that he was under the impression that energy drinks were healthy for you because they give you a boost throughout the day.”
These recent statistics add growing weight to the argument that more needs to be done to fight our growing food and drink consumption crisis. The European Food Safety Authority outlined that young people in the UK are amongst the highest consumers of energy drinks in Europe.