The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) has called for a UK-wide ban on the sale of high energy drinks for under-16s.
These calls come after one of Conservative MP Maria Caulfield’s constituents committed suicide, with the MP believing the 15 energy drinks he consumed may have contributed to his suicide.
The BSPD has described high energy drinks as damaging to oral health and has welcomed recent moves from Waitrose to check the ages of those purchasing drinks containing over 150mg of caffeine per litre.
‘The step taken by Waitrose is a bold and responsible one,’ Claire Stevens, president of the BSPD, said.
‘But we would like all retailers to come on board and ideally to have legislation introduced to prevent all shopkeepers selling these drinks to under-16s.’
‘Not recommended to children’
Action on Sugar recently analysed the caffeine and sugar levels in energy drinks, finding them completely inappropriate for children.
Despite Prime Minister Theresa May accepting that energy drinks high in sugar ‘can be damaging to children’s health’, she stopped short of introducing a UK-wide ban on their sale to under-16s, claiming it was an issue for the Department of Health and Social Care.
‘Energy drinks are not marketed or promoted to under-16s and all beverages carry an advisory note stating: “Not recommended to children”,’ The British Soft Drinks Association, which represents the industry, said.
‘Energy drink manufacturers have taken all possible steps to be clear about the suitability of energy drinks.
‘Retailers, schools and parents all have a role to play in educating children about caffeine and sugar consumption from all sources.’