Charity urges the ban of energy drinks to under 16's
According to an article in the British Dental Journal, The Oral Health Foundation is 'calling for a change in the law to ban the sale of energy drinks to under 16's in the UK.'
Despite many supermarket chains already implementing the need for ID proof when purchasing some energy drinks with over 150mg of caffeine per litre, the charity (backed by many dental professionals across the country) is of the opinion that voluntary bans will not be effective enough to reduce the incredible damage these drinks having on the oral, and overall, health of our teens.
Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the charity, say: 'Energy drinks contain an obscene amount of caffeine and sugar...Many energy drinks contain more than twice the daily allowance of sugar for a child.'
He goes on to voice the concerns of countless dental clinicians, stating: 'The potential damage caused to oral health alone is extreme and has contributed to thousands of children in the UK having rotten teeth removed in hospital every year.'
As a practice located close to a secondary school, we are privy to many of the children's consumption habits when travelling to and from school and we have seen a marked increase in teens drinking energy drinks both on their way out of and into school over the last few years. This is particularly prominent in the lead up to exam season! As it is almost impossible for parents to 'police' this element of unsupervised snacking, we can say that we are in full support of instigating an over 16's only law on drinks with such destructive and dangerous ingredients, to ensure that the places children are purchasing energy drinks, besides supermarkets, are regulated.
Dr Carter agrees, stating that 'A change in the law would immediately prevent the sale of energy drinks to children in local shops and convenience stores, vending machines, entertainment complexes like cinemas or bowling alleys, as well as in restaurants. These changes, along with those made by supermarkets could have a real and tangible effect on the health of children in the UK.'
Let's hope we see positive, legislative and societal change on the acceptance of such high-sugar, high-caffeine products very soon!
If you have any concerns regarding your teenager's consumption of energy drinks, or sugary snacks, feel free to speak to your dentist at your next appointment. Our dentists, therapists and hygienist have a few useful tricks up our sleeves to help change children's minds about sugar and are more than happy to help you combat any bad habits!