Soft Drinks: Schools

Health written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to reduce the availability of energy drinks at schools.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Legislation on school food standards does not allow energy drinks to be provided by schools. Additionally, a school could decide to specifically ban energy drinks from being brought onto, or consumed on, school premises.

The Department for Education is currently consulting on a clearer set of school food standards. These revised standards will be available to schools and others, accompanied by practical guidance, from September 2014, becoming statutory from January 2015.

The Food Standards Agency advises that children and other people who are sensitive to caffeine should consume caffeine only in moderation. In the United Kingdom, many high caffeine drinks already voluntarily include advice about their unsuitability for children. In December 2014 similar labelling will become mandatory.

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