UUֱ

TV chef labels Labour plan for energy drinks ban ‘really exciting’

Jamie Oliver has welcomed Labour’s proposal to ban the sale of energy drinks to under-16s.

The TV chef from Essex – who fronted a successful campaign to ban Turkey Twizzlers from school canteens during Tony Blair’s premiership – has described the party’s proposal as “really exciting”.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting warned children are attending schools “wired on the equivalent of three shots of espresso from these toxic drinks”.

Oliver, whose shows have included The Naked Chef and Jamie’s Air-Fryer Meals, said in a video posted to social media website X: “When we’ve 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.”

Celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver speaks to then-prime minister Tony Blair (right) after delivering a petition demanding better food for pupils
Celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver speaks to then-prime minister Tony Blair after delivering a petition demanding better food for pupils (Russell Boyce/PA)

He alleged children are “bouncing off the walls” in the classroom, which means teachers have to resort to “plan B or plan C” lessons.

“Child health hasn’t been put central to any manifesto in the last 20 years, ever, ever, ever,” Mr Oliver said.

“You’ve never seen it on a bus with a number.”

Cans of Red Bull, Monster and Relentless energy drinks (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Cans of Red Bull, Monster and Relentless energy drinks (Jonathan Brady/PA)

According to the Labour Party, soft drinks such as Coca-Cola 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 in a statement: “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.”

Referring to the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, which did not make it through Parliament before a General Election was called, Mr Streeting added: “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.”

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –