Sugar Warriors Say Ban Under-16s From Buying Energy Drinks

By Gary Cutlack on at

People who hate sugar have been counting up how much of it is in things again, shaking their heads in horror, and telling the nation what to do about it.

This latest bit of sugary terror has been compiled by activist group Action on Sugar, which says there's now such a wide range of horrendously sweetened energy drinks on offer that the sale of them to under-16s should be banned -- seeing as that's the age group these drinks tend to target with their wacky labels, their funny brand names and their jazzy colours.

As ever, there's some data to back up the claims, with this latest batch of drinks-shaming led by the exotic-sounding Rockstar Punched Energy + Guava Tropical, which, in a 500ml bottle, contains 68 grams of sugar. That sounds like a lot, although if you're having just that for dinner it can't be too bad, can it?

The sort of good news is that some manufacturers have reformulated their drinks to meet the guidelines within the UK's new sugar tax levels, but the problem with many of these drinks remains the 500ml serving size; which means the kids can still whack an awful lot of sugar into themselves with just a few swigs during Call of Duty loading screens.

Action on Sugar's chairman Graham MacGregor thinks Something Must Be Done, saying: "This study illustrates the huge contribution of energy drinks to sugar intake, which is linked to the development of obesity and various types of cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes and rotting our children’s teeth. They are completely inappropriate for children to consume, form no part of a healthy balanced diet, and should be banned for under 16s." [BMJ Open]