The UK Government has confirmed that it will ban the sale of energy drinks to children under 16 years old.

It is part of a plan to reduce childhood obesity by 50% by 2030.

The ban will stop the sale of high-caffeine drinks to children in a bid to end unhealthy behaviour and deprivation.

Energy drinks have a stimulating effect as they contain high levels of caffeine, taurine, vitamins and other substances.

A Green Paper containing the policy announcement also stated that the government will extend the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SIDL) to sugary milk drinks if the industry has not made enough progress on reducing sugar.

The document, Advancing our Health: Prevention in the 2020s, stated: “Energy drinks are soft drinks that are typically distinguished by their significantly higher caffeine content.

“Although diet versions are available, regular energy drinks on average contain more calories and sugar than other regular soft drinks.

“Research has suggested that excessive consumption of energy drinks by children may affect some children adversely. Besides, energy drink consumption has also been associated with unhealthy behaviour and deprivation.

“Last year, we consulted on ending the sale of energy drinks to children. The consultation showed overwhelming public support, with 93% of consultation respondents agreeing that businesses should be prohibited from selling these drinks to children.

“Teachers and health professionals, in particular, were strong in their support for the government to take action.”

The government said that it will shortly begin the next steps to ban promotions of foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS). It also plans to introduce a 9pm watershed on the TV advertising of HFSS products. Furthermore, there will be similar protection for children viewing adverts online.

Welcoming the ban, Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “We have encouraged the government to provide clarity on an age restriction for energy drinks and helped them consider the impact on retailers.

“We think 16 is the appropriate level as it aligns with over half of convenience retailers’ existing voluntary policies on energy drinks, and this is the age group for which the impact of energy drinks has been researched.”