Jamie Oliver's Sugar Revolution!

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Jamie Oliver is well known for his campaigns to get the nation’s younger generation to be healthier – beginning with the infamous turkey twizzler ban! Here at Connect2Staff we are fully behind his latest campaign to get our government to ban the sale of energy drinks to children under the age of 16.

If you don’t know much about this revolution or haven’t heard about it, here’s the lowdown. Jamie Oliver has been researching into the energy drinks that seem to be so popular amongst our children - and the side effects are shocking.

To start, a typical energy drink will have 27.5g of sugar in one 250ml can! That equates to nearly seven cubes of sugar; more than a child should consume in a whole a day let alone one drink…

The problem is, these energy drinks are marketed in such way that leads children to think they create a positive effect after consumption, such as improved energy and performance – however, what isn’t communicated is that this is only true in certain contexts. Lucozade, for example, is designed for serious training athletes who will ultimately burn off the sugar they are consuming in the drink, not for a 14-year-old to concentrate on their school work whilst sedentary at a desk and not burning off the calories. If anything, these drinks create a negative effect; teachers and parents are becoming more aware of the side effects such as lack of sleep, mood swings and erratic behaviour to name a few. The children drinking the drinks fail to be made aware of both the long and short-term consequences.

These drinks and their side effects can have some serious implications on the way pupils learn and function during the school day – consequently hindering their education. Much of the time, these drinks are also used as a substitute for breakfast at the beginning of the day, meaning pupils are not beginning their day in the fibre-rich way they should to be able to excel at school.

The government aren’t sitting by and doing nothing though; as mentioned in his recent budget speech, Phillip Hammond stated how from April 2018 there will be a ‘Sugar Tax’ on sugary drinks to combat obesity; ‘Tax on drinks with more than five grams of sugar per 100ml will be levied by 18p per litre, while those with eight grams or more of sugar per 100ml will have an extra tax of 24p per litre.’ (The Independent). It is expected that the money raised will go to the Department for Education for school sports.

Jamie Oliver’s notion is to protect the younger generation from the dangers that are linked to these energy drinks, such as obesity, by furthering current government campaigns, in the hope that the sale of energy drinks will be legally age restricted. This means they will not be sold to anyone under the age of 16.

In order to do this, Jamie has asked that everyone tweet Health Secretary, @Jeremy_Hunt, telling him to ban the sale of energy drinks to children under 16 and using the hashtag #NotForChildren.

Our Education Team hope that this amazing campaign will influence people to voice their opinions regarding this law and to really make a difference to our children’s futures, lives and education. We’ll certainly be writing our tweets today! Are you joining us? 

Claire Taylor

Apprentice  
Specialisms: Education
Tel: 01622 236974
 
Most recent blog post: Activities and days out in Kent for you and the kids this summer

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