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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 707149, 8 pages
Research Article

Public Concern about the Sale of High-Caffeine Drinks to Children 12 Years or Younger: An Australian Regulatory Perspective

1School of Public Health, Curtin University, Kent Street, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia
2Department of Health in Western Australia, 189 Royal Street, East Perth, WA 6004, Western Australia, Australia
3Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Received 18 May 2015; Revised 27 August 2015; Accepted 1 September 2015

Academic Editor: Stefan K. Lhachimi

Copyright © 2015 Christina Mary Pollard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.