Tesco has become the latest supermarket chain to ban the sale of energy drinks to children.
From March, the supermarket will ask customers to prove they are over the age of 16 if they want to buy the highly caffeinated beverages.
The decision follows similar moves from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Asda, Morrisons and Lidl in the past few weeks.
Tesco spokesperson Jane Lawrie said: “With millions of customers across the UK shopping with us every week and 300,000 colleagues working in our stores, centres and offices, implementing new measures on energy drinks is another opportunity to help our customers adopt healthy habits.
“We know that this isn’t easy to implement, so in addition, we will create awareness in store and online to highlight that high-energy caffeine drinks are not recommended for children, supporting the #notforchildren campaign.”
The decision comes after a study in the BMJ Open journal which prompted experts to call for a nationwide ban on the sale of energy drinks to under 16s.
Image: Tesco said it made the move to ‘help our customers adopt healthy habits’
The study found that in 2015 and 2017 the average sugar content of energy drinks was more than the entire recommended daily maximum for an adult in the UK.
There have also been concerns raised about the amount of caffeine in the drinks. Energy drinks with more than 150mg per litre of caffeine have to carry a warning that they are not recommended for children or pregnant women.
The same study found that some products had the caffeine equivalent of nearly two cups of coffee.
Earlier this month, responding to Waitrose’s move to introduce a minimum age for buying the drinks, the British Soft Drinks Association said: “Energy drinks and their ingredients have been deemed safe by regulatory authorities around the world.
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“Energy drink manufacturers have taken all possible steps to be clear about the suitability of energy drinks.
“Retailers, schools and parents all have a role to play in educating children about caffeine and sugar consumption from all sources.”