10 Feb 2024 Labour considering a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children as part of forthcoming general election
Campaigners and academics welcome the news that the Labour party are considering pledging to crackdown on energy drinks sales to under 16s as part of the party’s election manifesto.
Just last month, research from Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, found that drinking energy drinks is associated with an increased risk of mental health issues among children and young people, including anxiety, stress, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
This comprehensive review of the evidence built on earlier research but highlighted more risks associated with energy drinks, which typically contain high levels of caffeine and sugar.
This prompted Food Active and the Children’s Food Campaign to coordinate a joint open letter signed by over 40 health organisations, academics and public health directors to call on both the government and shadow health ministers to finally take action.
- Letter to the Rt Hon Victoria Atkins MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
- Letter to Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Today, news reports suggest the Labour party are considering announcing a sales restriction of these drinks to under 16s as part of their party election manifesto for the forthcoming general election.
Welcoming the news, Professor Amelia Lake is Associate Director of Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, and Professor of Public Health Nutrition at Teesside University said:
“Our research shows that there is an international body of evidence that associates energy drinks with harmful physical and mental health issues, as well as impacting on their educational attainment.
“We need to see clear messaging that these drinks are not suitable for children and young people. An outright ban of their sales to under 16s makes it clear.”
Also commenting on the announcement, Beth Bradshaw, Food Active Project Manager said:
“It is promising to see that the Labour party are considering pledging to restrict sales of these drinks to under 16s.
However, we have known for some time and even their packaging states that these drinks are simply not suitable for children. The latest evidence presents an even more concerning picture about the implications on children’s mental health.
We want to see firm commitment from all political parties ahead of the forthcoming General Election. The health of our children cannot wait – the time to act is now.”