Would you let your child drink two coffees, each containing up to ten sugar cubes, before school every day?

30th August 2018

Would you let your child drink two coffees, each containing up to ten sugar cubes, before school every day?

For any responsible parent, the answer is no – yet, tens of thousands of youngsters are regularly consuming the equivalent amount of caffeine and sugar in cans of energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster and Relentless.

So it seems entirely sensible that the Government is considering introducing a ban on the sales of energy drinks to children. A consultation on how to implement the proposed ban was unveiled today, with the principal focus on whether purchasing restrictions will apply at 16 or 18.

The Government’s statistics are stark: two-thirds of children aged 10 to 17 and a quarter of six to nine-year-olds consume energy drinks.

The high level of caffeine has been linked to a string of health problems for children, including head and stomach aches, as well as hyperactivity and sleep problems.

Meanwhile, the effect on children’s ability to concentrate in the classroom is also a cause for serious concern. The teachers’ union NASUWT has previously called for a ban on the sale of energy drinks to under-16s, describing the beverages as “legal highs” that fuel bad behaviour in schools.

And the problem is particularly acute in the UK, where cheap prices mean that consumption by British children is estimated to be 50% higher than in other European countries. In some outlets it is possible to buy four 250ml cans of energy drink for £1.

Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “We all have a responsibility to protect children from products that are damaging to their health and education, and we know that drinks packed to the brim with caffeine, and often sugar, are becoming a common fixture of their diet.

“Our children already consume 50% more of these drinks than our European counterparts, and teachers have made worrying links between energy drinks and poor behaviour in the classroom.”

A 250ml can of Red Bull contains about 80mg of caffeine, roughly the same as a similarly sized cup of coffee, but three times the level of Coca-Cola. Monster Energy, which is often sold in larger cans of 500ml, contains 160mg of caffeine.

Energy drinks often also have higher levels of sugar than soft drinks. According to government figures, sugared energy drinks have 60% more calories and 65% more sugar than normal soft drinks, wit sugar one of the largest causes of obesity.

Nearly a third of children aged two to 15 are overweight or obese and younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer, according to the Government’s obesity strategy.

Aside from the health implications, the economic cost is also great. The UK spends more each year on the treatment of obesity and diabetes than on the police, fire service and judicial system combined.

The announcement of today’s consultation follows the introduction of the ground-breaking sugar tax on soft drinks, which came into force in April, and is further evidence of an increasingly interventionist approach by the Government towards childhood obesity.

Blog Posts

How about a shorter working week?


Could a shorter working week increase your business's productivity? A financial services company in…

Read More
Upcoming Events

The Great East Run


A Gotelee team will be running The Great East Run on Sunday 16th at…

Read More
News Posts

Knife crime – the law


It might help the current debate on the surge in knife crime to set…

Read More


"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"I have used Tracey Laflin at Gotelee on a number of occasions and in my opinion, she is simply the most efficient conveyancing solicitor I have ever worked with. From the outset, she took the time to understand my specific business requirements and to date, she has exceeded all of my expectations."

- Dale Fiddy - Portobello Developments Ltd

"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"

- MT

"Jade Shelton was absolutely fantastic!! Professional and proactive at all times."

- JH

"This is by far the go-to firm for any issues. You are made to feel valued from the outset and they are so confident in what they do. Wouldn't recommend any other. Thank you Hugh and Max."

- Ros Jones

"Domini was very fast and efficient in carrying out her work for me - she was also very good at explaining things to me"


"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"


"The ease that we could access and speak to Pat Smith - Thank you"


"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."


Please select preferred method of contact

* We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact. All web enquiries will be stored on our website for 30 days.