Several chain supermarkets in the United Kingdom have begun implementing a voluntary ban on the sale of energy drinks to people under the age of 16.  Waitrose, a chain with more than 350 stores throughout the U.K., today began requiring proof of age for customers buying energy drinks containing more than 150 mg of caffeine per lite “As a responsible retailer, we want to sell these products in line with the labelling guidance,” Simon Moore, Waitrose’s director of technical and corporate social responsibility, said in a statement on the company’s website. “These drinks carry advice stating that they are not recommended for children, so we’re choosing to proactively act on that guidance, particularly given the widespread concerns which have been raised about these drinks when consumed by under 16s.”  Drinks sold in the U.K. that contain more than 150 mg of caffeine per liter must already carry a label alerting customers to high caffeine content, according to guidelines issues by the European Union Food Information Regulation.  The label must include this warning, according to the guidelines, placed near the name of the product: “High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast-feeding women.”  Seven other U.K. retailers are joining Waitrose in enforcing the voluntary ban, the BBC reported.  Jamie Oliver, a London-based chef who has taken on the cause of childhood obesity, welcomed the retailers’ actions in a tweet, saying the retailers “have done the right thing by Stopping the sale of energy drinks to children.”

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