Intended for healthcare professionals


Energy drinks: evidence doesn’t support ban on sales to children, say MPs

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 04 December 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5129
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London, UK

A ban on the sale of “energy drinks” to children is unwarranted by the evidence, a House of Commons committee has reluctantly concluded.1

The Science and Technology Committee did not hide its view that controls of some sort should be imposed on children’s consumption of energy drinks containing caffeine. But the evidence of harm falls short of that needed to justify a statutory ban.

The committee suggested, however, that “societal harms” could justify the government going beyond the evidence and imposing a ban. If it did so, said the committee chairman Norman Lamb, it should explain how it reached its decision.

Energy drinks contain caffeine and sugar and are sold on the basis that they provide a …

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