Welsh Conservatives attack proposals to “ban” the sale of tea and coffee to under 16s

By nation.cymru

5 months ago

News Politics

Tory MS James Evans is warning that the Welsh Government is planning to “ban” the sale of tea and coffee to under 16s and is urging people to contribute to the public consultation on the proposals which closes this week.

The Healthy Food Environment and Energy Drink consultation is seeking feedback on the government’s plans to combat obesity include limiting hot food takeaways near schools and ending the sale of energy drinks to anyone under the age of 16.

The consultation also asks whether measures to restrict the sale of energy drinks “should be widened to consider other drinks typically high in caffeine such as tea and coffee”.

James Evans MS said:

“Any attempts to ban tea and coffee are simply ludicrous and should never be under consideration,”

“Not only is tea a staple of our British identity and the coffee market an important part of our high street economy but, it beggars belief that this could be considered beneficial to the public.

“Yet this is the Labour Government that puts a tourism tax and creating more politicians ahead of fixing the NHS backlog and growing the lowest wages in Britain.

“I urge people to answer this consultation and make Labour stop this ban before it delegitimises sensible aspects of the plan.”

The Welsh Government launched its Healthy Food Environment and Energy Drink consultations in June, and people have until September 1 to have their say on the plans.

In Wales, approximately 1.6 million adults are overweight and 655,000 people are obese.

In addition, more than one in four of children in Wales are overweight or obese when they start primary school.

It is estimated obesity costs the NHS £6.1 billion per year across the UK.

Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle, said the government’s new strategy is about

“removing the barriers that prevent or put people off from making healthier food and drink choices

“Often, foods that are sugary or high in fat or salt are more readily available and promoted – this must change if we are to reduce obesity in our country. This is an open and frank conversation about how we can create a step change in our choices and behaviors.”

The latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey also shows that young people aged between 11 -18 years consume up to three times the recommended maximum amount of sugar.

The Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales strategy includes proposals on banning the sale of energy drinks to young people under 16 to reduce the amount of sugar they consume.

Some energy drinks have 21 teaspoons of sugar and the same caffeine as three cups of coffee.

Research shows that children who drink at least one energy drink per week are more likely to report symptoms such as headaches, sleep problems and stomach problems as well as low mood and irritability, while regular energy drink consumption has also been linked with low educational engagement.

 Read the rest of this story on nation.cymru

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