The House of Commons’ Science and Technology committee has concluded that while societal concerns and evidence from teachers could justify action, there is not enough existing scientific evidence to warrant a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children.

This announcement follows a call for public views on the ban in August.

Other responses included an urge for the government to raise the age limit for the sale of energy drinks to 18 by health campaigners and teachers in the UK.

“Disadvantaged children are consuming energy drinks at a higher rate than their peers.”

The Science and Technology Committee’s chair Norman Lamb said: “Throughout this inquiry, the Committee has heard a range of concerns warning of the impact energy drinks can have on the behaviour of young people. This varied from a lack of concentration in the classroom and hyperactivity to the effects on physical health.

“It’s clear from the evidence we received that disadvantaged children are consuming energy drinks at a higher rate than their peers.”

The committee acknowledged that the current voluntary ban implemented by retailers would amplify the message that energy drinks are associated with negative health, behavioural and dietary effects.

It recommended an inclusion of more noticeable advisory notices on energy drinks packaging.

The committee also noted that the government should commission independent research to establish if energy drinks are more harmful than other soft drinks containing caffeine.

Lamb added: “It would be legitimate for the government to go beyond the evidence that is available at the moment and implement a statutory ban based on societal concerns and evidence, such as the experience of school teachers and pupils. If the government decides to introduce a ban it should explain why it has come to this decision.”