23 Jul 2019
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has today welcomed the government’s announcement that it will implement a ban on the sale of energy drinks to under-16s as part of its Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s Green Paper. Evidence shows such high-caffeine drinks are purchased in significant quantities by children, and impact on concentration and sleep.
The BDA had joined academics from Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, the RCPCH and others in calling for the ban. This included contributing oral evidence to the Commons’ Science and Technology Committee inquiry into energy drinks in July 2018.
Annabel Gipp RD, who appeared before the committee on behalf of the BDA said: “The BDA strongly supports the decision to implement a ban on the sale of energy drinks to under-16s, and was pleased to work alongside Fuse in giving evidence to parliament on this issue.
“This policy will help ensure that children are not exposed to cheap, high-caffeine drinks which effect their sleep and concentration. These products are already required to be labelled as unsuitable for children by law, so this is a logical step to take.
“Government now needs to support the sales ban with clearer restrictions on the marketing of these products, and clear public health messages to ensure parents recognise that energy drinks are not for children.”
The announcement comes after a public consultation undertaken last year. The consultation showed overwhelming public support, with 93% of consultation respondents agreeing that businesses should be prohibited from selling the drinks to children. Teachers and health professionals, in particular, were strong in their support for the government to take action.
- The British Dietetic Association (BDA), founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 9,500 members.
- Dietitians are highly qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. They are statutorily regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), alongside other Allied Health Professions.
- Dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices. They work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government and global industry to local communities and individuals.