A NORTH-EAST study has suggested the sale of energy drinks to under-16s be outlawed.

Researchers spoke to young people aged between ten and 14 years old and visited shops in the region, discovering some brands were being sold for as little as 25p each.

The youngsters were not certain about the amount of sugar and caffeine the beverages contained with some also claiming they drank them to “fit in” or “look tough”.

A single can may contain about 160mg of caffeine, while the European Food Safety Authority recommends no more than 105mg of caffeine per day for an average 11-year-old.

The authors said that following the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks, the Government should go further and consider restrictions on the sale of energy drinks to under-16s.

Other proposals put forward by young people themselves included making labelling clearer.

The work was led by Dr Shelina Visram, from Newcastle University, in collaboration with academics from Durham, Northumbria, and Teesside Universities through Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health.

Dietician Dr Amelia Lake, a reader in public health nutrition at Teesside University, said: “These drinks are a problem and a Government solution is needed.”