A dad-of-two said he would like to see a law introduced prohibiting all shops from selling energy drinks to school children.
Peter McBride, 50, from Rye Harbour, said he was shocked to discover that his 12-year-old son was able to purchase the drinks from a number of shops in the area.
Concerned by the possible health effects posed by them, Mr McBride said the only sensible resolution would be to bring in a law banning shops from selling energy drinks to children under the age of 16.
He said: “There are a number of health effects caused by these types of drinks but the main problem is children are picking them up on their way to school and its impacting their concentration.
“The major retailers – your Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s, for example – don’t sell them to under 16s but the problem is with smaller shops who sell them. They’re not breaking the law but I just don’t think it’s right.”
In July, a Green Paper banning the sale of energy drinks to children under 16 was published by the Cabinet Office against the wishes of health secretary Matt Hancock.
The paper was published shortly before Boris Johnson – who has vowed to halt ‘sin taxes’, levied on certain goods deemed to be harmful to individuals – became Prime Minister.
Details of the policy – including when it will come into force and what would happen to shops that continue to sell the drinks – have yet to be announced.
According to the government, more than two thirds of children between ten and 17 consume energy drinks in the UK.
Mr McBride said he thought there was a problem when his 12-year-old son asked him if he could buy him an energy drink.
When he refused, his son said he knew a shop where he would be able to buy one anyway.
Mr McBride added: “I’m not going to name this shop because there are loads around that would sell these energy drinks to young children.
“What they’re doing isn’t legally wrong but I wouldn’t say it’s socially responsible.”