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Government study finds under-18s consuming caffeinated drinks linked to behavioural issues

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Government study finds under-18s consuming caffeinated drinks linked to behavioural issues

Maddison Waterman

Government study finds under-18s consuming caffeinated drinks linked to behavioural issues

A recent study commissioned by the government has found that many under-18s drink at least five caffeinated drinks a week.

Results found one in three children consume energy drinks regularly which may be affecting their behavior.

The research was conducted after the government had a meeting on banning the drinks in 2018, but due to lack of research, the discussion ended and the ban was not implemented.

Experts from the University College London (UCL) and The University of Yorkshire looked into the impact the drinks have on young people’s mental and physical health as well as their behaviour.

According to the study, 13% to 60% of children worldwide consumed energy drinks in the past year, with between 3% and 32% having at least one a week. Having just one drink a week can create symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems and trouble sleeping compared to those who drank none. Drinking 5 or more days a week presented a decrease in physiological, educational, physical and overall well being.

It was found that more boys consumed energy drinks and presented with issues such as more headaches, alcohol consumption, sleep problems, smoking and irritability, and exclusion from school.

The British Soft Drinks Association’s director-general, Gavin Partington, said: “Our members do not market or promote energy drinks to under-16s, nor do they sample products with this age group… In addition, energy drinks carry an advisory note stating ‘not recommended for children’.”

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