Ending the sale of energy drinks to children and young people: consultation

We are seeking views on whether there is a need to take mandatory action to ban the sale of energy drinks to children and young people.


1. 'Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers' requires that energy drinks be labelled with a warning stating "high caffeine content. Not suitable for children or pregnant or breast-feeding women."
Available at: http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg/2011/1169/oj

2. Breda, J. J., et al. (2014). Energy drink consumption in Europe: A review of the risks, adverse health effects, and policy options to respond. Frontiers in Public Health, 2.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2014.00134

3. Science and Technology Committee (2018). Thirteenth Report of Session 2017-19: Energy drinks and children.
Available at: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmsctech/821/821.pdf

4. Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC, 2019). Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s.
Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/advancing-our-health-prevention-in-the-2020s

5. Welsh Government (2019). Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales.
Available at: https://gov.wales/healthy-weight-strategy

6. DHSC (2018). Consultation on proposal to end the sale of energy drinks to children. See Impact Assessment.
Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/ending-the-sale-of-energy-drinks-to-children

7. British Soft Drinks Association (2018). Code of practice on energy drinks.
Available at: http://www.britishsoftdrinks.com/Position-Statements/energy-drinks

8. Association of Convenience Stores (2018). Energy drinks: Information for retailers.
Available at: https://www.acs.org.uk/sites/default/files/energy-drinks-guideforretailers.pdf

9. This includes caffeine from other dietary sources, for example cola, coffee or chocolate. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, 2015). Scientific opinion on the safety of caffeine.
Available at: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/caffeine

10. DHSC Reviews Facility, Brunton, G. et al. (2019). Caffeinated energy drinks and effects in UK young people: A secondary analysis of population-level datasets.
Available at: http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/Default.aspx?tabid=3751

11. Huhtinen, H., Lindfors, P. & Rimeplä, A. (2013). Adolescents' use of energy drinks and caffeine induced health complaints in Finland. European Journal of Public Health, 23.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckt123.050

12. Mental Health Foundation (2011). Sleep matters: The impact of sleep on health and wellbeing.
Available at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/sleep-report

13. Watson, E. J. et al. (2017). The relationship between caffeine, sleep, and behavior in children. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 13.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.6536

14. Segura-Jiménez, V. et al. (2015). Association of sleep patterns with psychological positive health and health complaints in children and adolescents. Quality of Life Research, 24.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-014-0827-0

15. Frank, S. et al. (2017). Diet and sleep physiology: Public health and clinical implications. Frontiers in Neurology, 8.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2017.00393

16. Sampasa-Kanyinga, H., Hamilton, H. A. and Chaput, J-P. (2018). Sleep duration and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and energy drinks among adolescents. Nutrition, 48.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2017.11.013

17. If bodyweight = 50 kilograms, then the recommended limit is 150 milligrams.

18. Zucconi, S. et al. (2013). Gathering consumption data on specific consumer groups of energy drinks. EFSA Supporting Publications, 10.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.2903/sp.efsa.2013.EN-394

19. 'Frequent or heavy use' refers to consuming energy drinks either five or more times in a week, on a daily basis or multiple times a day.

20. DHSC Reviews Facility, Brunton, G. et al. (2019). Caffeinated energy drinks use and reported effects in young people: a rapid overview of systematic reviews.
Available at: http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/Default.aspx?tabid=3751

21. The Nutritional Requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2008 require that drinks provided to pupils meet certain requirements, which energy drinks do not satisfy.
Available at: https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/238187/0065394.pdf

22. Scottish Grocers Federation, Healthy Living Programme (2019). Healthcare Retail Standard.
Available at: https://www.scottishshop.org.uk/images/HRS-Guide-2019.pdf

23. See DHSC (2018) Impact Assessment6.

24. Including supermarkets, discounters, convenience stores and forecourts. IGD Retail Analysis (2018). UK Grocery Store Numbers.
Available at: https://www.igd.com/Portals/0/Downloads/Research/UK-grocery-stores-table.pdf

25. Office for National Statistics (2018). Population estimates for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: mid-2018.
Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/bulletins/annualmidyearpopulationestimates/mid2018

26. Based on a survey of convenience stores represented by the Association of Convenience Stores. See DHSC (2018) Impact Assessment6.

27. See DHSC (2018) Impact Assessment6.

28. American Academy of Pediatrics (2011). Sports drinks and energy drinks for children and adolescents: Are they appropriate? Pediatrics, 127.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2011-0965

29. See Annex C for more detailed definitions.

30. Provisions for compliance notices and fixed penalty notices are contained in the Food (Scotland) Act 2015. They have yet to be brought into use.
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2015/1/contents/enacted

31. Visram, S. and Hashem, K. (2016). Energy drinks: What's the evidence? Food Research Collaboration Policy Brief.
Available at: https://foodresearch.org.uk/publications/energy-drinks

32. O'Mahoney, A. (2019). New kid in town. The Grocer, 1 June 2019, Print edition, pp. 41-51.

33. Levels are sometimes higher than recommended intakes. See Lage-Yusty, M. A., Villar-Blanco, L. and López-Hernandez, J. (2019). Evaluation of caffeine, vitamins and taurine in energy drinks. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 58.
Available at: www.vup.sk/en/download.php?bulID=2017

34. Hammond, D., Reid, J. L. and Zukowski, S. (2018). Adverse effects of caffeinated energy drinks among youth and young adults in Canada: A web-based survey. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 6.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20160154

35. Pinto, S. C. et al. (2013). Erosive potential of energy drinks on the dentine surface. BMC Research Notes, 6.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-6-67

36. See DHSC (2018) Impact Assessment6.

37. The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers. Energy drinks.
Available at: https://www.nasuwt.org.uk/advice/in-the-classroom/behaviour-management/energy-drinks.html

38. Smith, N. and Atroch, A. L. (2010). Guaraná's Journey from regional tonic to aphrodisiac and global energy drink. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 7.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem162

39. See Food Standards Scotland (FSS) recent consultation for a more detailed definition. FSS (2018). Proposals to Improve the Out of Home Environment in Scotland.
Available at: https://consult.foodstandards.gov.scot/nutrition-science-and-policy/proposals-to-improve-the-out-of-home-environment-i/

40. EFSA (2009). Scientific opinion of the Panel on food additives and nutrient sources added to food on a request from the Commission on the use of taurine and D-glucurono-γ-lactone as constituents of the so-called "energy" drinks.
Available at: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/935


Email: DietPolicy@gov.scot

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