Sorting by


Ban on sale of energy drinks to teens and 100,000 more dental appointments under Labour plans | Politics News

Labour has announced plans to ban the sale of energy drinks to under-16s and create an extra 100,000 urgent dentist appointments.

Sir Keir Starmer said it was “not justifiable or acceptable” for retailers to be selling the highly caffeinated beverages to youngsters and “we will stop it”.

“I will always take the tough decisions necessary to keep our children healthy,” the Labour leader said.

Election latest: Another NI cut expected in Tory manifesto

The ban will apply to drinks containing over 150mg of caffeine per litre.

Labour said it expects soft drinks such as Coca-Cola to fall below the limit, but a 500ml can of Monster Energy would exceed it.

Sky News was first to report Labour was considering the ban back in February, amid growing evidence of the health risks to young people from energy drinks.

More on General Election 2024

Up to a third of children in the UK consume at least one every week, particularly boys, according to a government-commissioned study.

Researchers say the evidence to support restrictions is growing, due to the drinks’ effects on mental and physical health – along with concern at how they are marketed to young people.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

‘I tried several superglues for my teeth’

A large bottle can contain twice as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, as well as high levels of sugar.

The ban would not apply to tea or coffee, Sky News understands, and it will be enforced in a similar way to alcohol and tobacco requirements.

‘Really exciting’

The plan was welcomed by TV chef Jamie Oliver, who has long campaigned for children to have better access to healthy food.

In a post on X, he said: “You would be amazed if you saw how many kids have breakfast in the form of an energy drink.

“Child health hasn’t been put central to any manifesto in the last 20 years, ever, ever, ever. You’ve never seen it on a bus with a number.

“This is really exciting for me. It means they’re looking at the detail, it means they’re looking at the science.”

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

Extra dental appointments for children

As well as the ban on energy drinks, Labour today outlined plans to create 100,000 extra dentist appointments for children in a bid to clear backlogs in England.

The appointments will be delivered on evenings and weekends, funded by cracking down on tax avoidance and tightening the rules on the non-dom tax status.

This comes on top of previously announced proposals to introduce supervised brushing to bolster the dental health of youngsters.

Labour’s other plans for dentistry include doubling the number of NHS scanners by investing in AI-enabled equipment, reforming the dental contract and bringing in signing on bonuses to recruit dentists to areas in need.

Read More:
Buying own home has ‘got harder’ under Conservatives, Sunak says
Lib Dem leader refuses six times to say whether coalition-era austerity was a mistake

The proposals will cost £109m a year, Labour said.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: “What a tragic indictment on the state of NHS dentistry under the Conservatives, that children are ashamed to speak because of the state of their teeth.

“Labour will provide an extra 100,000 appointments for children a year and supervised toothbrushing for three-to-five year olds, to put a smile back on kids’ faces.”

The plans come amid a crisis in NHS dentistry, with reports of people pulling their own teeth out because they cannot get an appointment.

Tooth extractions because of tooth decay have risen by 17% in the last 12 months for patients aged 0-19, according to the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

Tooth decay remains the most common reason for youngsters aged five to nine being admitted to hospital.

Hospital admissions for childhood tooth extractions cost NHS hospitals £64.3m last year, with decay-related extractions costing £40.7m.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button