Public Concern about the Sale of High-Caffeine Drinks to Children 12 Years or Younger: An Australian Regulatory Perspective
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© 2015 Christina Mary Pollard et al. Background. Dietary exposure to high caffeine is a health risk for children. Governments are considering measures to restrict the sale of formulated caffeinated beverages (FCB) to children. Objectives. To investigate community concern about sales of high-caffeine drinks to children among Western Australian adults and describe Australian and New Zealand regulatory processes regarding FCB. Methods. Data from the 2009 and 2012 Department of Health's Nutrition Monitoring Survey Series of 2,832 Western Australians aged 18-64 years was pooled with descriptive and ordinal logistic regression analysis performed. Current regulatory processes for FCB are reported. Results. Most (85%) participants were concerned about the sale of high-caffeine drinks to children; 77.4% were very concerned in 2012 compared to 66.5% in 2009, p <.008. Females and those living with children had higher concern (odds ratio (OR) 2.11; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.44-3.10; OR 2.16; 95% CI 1.51-3.09, resp., p <.001). Concern increased with each year of age (OR 1.04; 95% CI 1.02, 1.05, p <.001). Conclusions. Community concern regarding sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to children is high and increasing. Being female and living with children were associated with greater concern. These findings support the Australian and New Zealand regulatory controls of FCB, including labelling, promotion, and advertising to children.
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