Energy drinks inquiry – consultation response

In 2018 we responded to the Science and Technology Committee's inquiry into energy drinks. We welcome the increased scrutiny on food and beverages that have low or no nutritional or therapeutic value, contain potentially harmful ingredients and are heavily marketed to children and young people.

The Science and Technology Committee (Commons) energy drinks inquiry that looked at the impact of energy drinks, specifically implications for children and young people in recognition of the emerging evidence base linking energy drinks to a range of negative health outcomes. Full details of the terms of reference for the inquiry are available online.

Our response

  • There is no evidence that caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have a benefit or place in the diet of children and adolescents.
  • Research indicates that there are a range of negative health implications related to the consumption of energy drinks.
  • Consumption of energy drinks have been found to be associated with a number of health risk behaviours.
  • We are concerned about the interplay of energy drinks and consumption of alcohol, which is a potential indicator of increased risk of substance use or abuse as well as other health compromising behaviour.
  • We are concerned about the marketing of energy drinks to children and young people and believe that the current rules to restrict exposure to all High Fat Sugar and Salt (HFSS) adverts do not go far enough in protecting children when they watch TV the most, between 6pm and 9pm.

Our recommendations

  • The Government should ban the advertising of foods and beverages high in saturated fat, sugar and salt in all broadcast media before 9pm to reduce children’s exposure to the marketing of energy drinks.
  • The introduction of a mandatory code banning the sale of energy drinks to children and young people under the age of 16 years.
  • Further research is required to investigate the impact of energy drinks on the physical and mental health and the behaviour of children and young people.

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented. Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting the Health Policy team: