Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has said that he would back a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children as the Government launches a consultation on the issue. One 250ml can of energy drink can contain around 80mg of caffeine – the equivalent of nearly three cans of cola. On average, energy drinks have 65 per cent more sugar than other, regular soft drinks.

    With more than two thirds of 10-17-year-olds and a quarter of 6-9-year-olds consuming energy drinks, they are likely to be contributing to both obesity and tooth decay in children. Surveys from teachers’ unions have also suggested that they contribute to poor behaviour in classrooms. While many retailers already have a voluntary ban in place, this consultation proposes a ban that would end the sale of energy drinks to children by all retailers, applying to drinks that contain more than 150mg of caffeine per litre.

    Mr Stride said:

    “Obesity is one of the biggest challenges faced in the UK today. The health costs are well documented – significantly increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart and liver disease, strokes and other mental health conditions. But the financial cost to the NHS is a staggering £5.1billion a year – the equivalent of 163,000 nurses. I would certainly support a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children in an effort to tackle childhood obesity.”

    According to the Obesity Health Alliance – a coalition of more than 40 organisations who have joined together to fight obesity – almost 1 in 5 children are overweight or obese when they start primary school with this rising to 1 in 3 by the time they leave. For more information visit