Jamie Oliver today hailed ‘exciting’ Labour plans to ban under-16s from buying high-caffeine energy drinks like Prime, Red Bull and Monster if they win power.

The restaurateur and chef warned spoke out over plans by Sir keir Starmer to outlaw the sale of drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre to minors if it wins power on July 4.

Red Bull has 80mg of caffeine in a 250ml can, equivalent to 320mg/l, while brands including Prime, Monster and Rockstar have similar or higher rates.

Mr Oliver, 49, said that schoolchildren are having energy drinks as a substitute breakfast, leading to an ‘absolute nightmare’ for teachers.

In a video posted on X he said: ‘It’s a small thing but it is a big thing. When we have got some of the most unhealthy kids in Europe we need to not have one thing, we need many many things that are going to help make our kids fitter, healthier, have better outcomes and just flourish and be more productive as adults and cost the NHS less.’

He added: From my point of view for the past 17 years working in many secondary schools around the country, you would be amazed if you saw how many kids have breakfast in the firm of an energy drink…

‘If you’ve got kids coming to school having energy drinks for breakfast it is not healthy – we are talking three or four shots of espresso in one of these tins, loads of sugar, so an absolute nightmare.’

It came after  shadow health secretary Wes Streeting told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the restriction was a response to ‘the outcry from parents and teachers who are seeing the consequences of these high energy drinks on children’s concentration, their wellbeing, their sleep, their mental health’. 

The restaurateur and chef warned spoke out over plans by Sir keir Starmer to outlaw the sale of drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre to minors if it wins power on July 4.

The restaurateur and chef warned spoke out over plans by Sir keir Starmer to outlaw the sale of drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre to minors if it wins power on July 4.

Several energy drinks which can be bought in UK shops have more than double the caffeine content on an average cup of coffee (80mg)

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the restriction was a response to 'the outcry from parents and teachers who are seeing the consequences of these high energy drinks on children's concentration, their wellbeing, their sleep, their mental health'.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the restriction was a response to ‘the outcry from parents and teachers who are seeing the consequences of these high energy drinks on children’s concentration, their wellbeing, their sleep, their mental health’.

The Labour politician added: ‘The reason why we’re being far more interventionist when it comes to children is because we can see how irresponsible sales and marketing are driving a crisis in children’s health.’ 

Sir Keir Starmer said such sales were ‘not justifiable or acceptable’, adding: ‘We’ll stop it. I will always take the tough decisions necessary to keep our children healthy.’

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

National trading standards would be expected to enforce the policy.

Mr  Streeting said: ‘Rishi Sunak is too weak to stand up to his party and protect children’s health. He crumbled in the face of opposition from his MPs and sacrificed his landmark Smoking Bill.

‘The Tories have stood idly by as children go to school wired on the equivalent of three shots of espresso from these toxic drinks. It stops them sleeping, damages their mental health, how on earth do we expect children to learn with that in their system?

‘It’s time for change. Labour will end the sale of dangerously high caffeine energy drinks, provide 100,000 extra child dentistry appointments and mental health support in every school.’

Energy drinks including Rockstar, PRIME and Monster all possess between 160-200mg of caffeine per 500ml – double the amounts found in an average cup of coffee, at around 80mg. 

The drinks also contain over four times the amount of caffeine as your average 330ml can of coke – a drink which itself is famously best enjoyed in moderation. 

PRIME, which is promoted by YouTubers Logan Paul and KSI, has become a worldwide sensation since its launch in 2022. Social media hype around PRIME products led to it quickly selling out in supermarkets, leading to massive queues, rules on how many each customer could buy, scuffles breaking out in the aisles, bottles selling for as much as £100 and muggings and near-riots in shops amid the global frenzy.

However, the popular energy drink has been accused of encouraging children to make unhealthy choices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Fury in India over video of female Japanese teen being molested in Delhi during Holi

Fury in India over video of female Japanese teen being molested in…

Only suspect in Chicago Tylenol murders James Lewis found dead in his Massachusetts home

The sole suspect in the Tylenol murders has been found dead in…

Family of watch dealer say they believe he took his own life 24 hours after robbers stole £2.8m of timepieces

The family of a watch dealer who was found dead 24 hours…

SA Education Union boss Leah York resigns after video shows her allegedly stealing a jumper

Union boss on $200,000 a year resigns after second video of her…