MPs hold inquiry into energy drinks health fears

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An influential committee of MPs has held an inquiry into the possible effects that energy drinks have on the mental and physical health of children and young people.

As part of the inquiry, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee examined what action was currently being taken on the sale of energy drinks to under 16s and whether there was a need for regulation, such as the introduction of a legal age restriction.

Speaking at the evidence session held yesterday (June 12), ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Over half of convenience stores currently are not selling energy drinks to under 16s.

“Some have particular shades of that policy, so it might be that they don’t sell to people in school uniform, it might be not to sell in the morning, it might be not to sell more than one can.

“We are community retailers – if there is contact from the school or other stakeholders, we absolutely say that retailers should engage with them positively, and it has resulted in more of these voluntary energy drinks policies being put in place.”

Recent ACS polling of 1,210 independent stores found that 53% of retailers don’t sell energy drinks to under 16s.

The ACS has also produced guidance for retailers that states energy drinks do not require age restrictions but retailers should respond to requests from local schools and stakeholders when deciding whether to sell to young people.

More information on the inquiry and energy drinks guidance can be found on the ACS website.

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