Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Non-alcoholic energy drinks may pose 'high' health risks, experts argue

Date:
January 26, 2011
Source:
University of Maryland
Summary:
Highly-caffeinated energy drinks -- even those without alcohol -- may pose a significant threat to individuals and public health, say researchers. In a new commentary, they recommend health providers educate patients, voluntary disclosures by manufacturers and new federal labeling requirements.

Highly-caffeinated energy drinks -- even those containing no alcohol -- may pose a significant threat to individuals and public health, say researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

In a new online commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), they recommend immediate consumer action, education by health providers, voluntary disclosures by manufacturers and new federal labeling requirements.

"Recent action to make pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks unavailable was an important first step, but more continued action is needed," says University of Maryland School of Public Health researcher Amelia Arria, who directs the Center on Young Adult Health and Development. "Individuals can still mix these highly caffeinated energy drinks with alcohol on their own. It is also concerning that no regulation exists with regard to the level of caffeine that can be in an energy drink."

Arria and co-author Mary Claire O'Brien, associate professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, alerted various state attorneys general to the risks of alcoholic energy drinks starting in 2009, steps that culminated last November in actions against Four Loko and similar products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission.

Health Risks

The JAMA paper cites three public health concerns surrounding all packaged energy drinks with moderate to high levels of caffeine:

  • Consumers often mix alcohol and energy drinks: "Energy drinks have become enmeshed in the subculture of partying," the paper says. "The practice of mixing energy drinks with alcohol -- which is more widespread than generally recognized -- has been linked consistently to drinking high volumes of alcohol per drinking session and subsequent serious alcohol-related consequences such as sexual assault and driving while intoxicated....Research has demonstrated that individuals who combine energy drinks with alcohol underestimate their true level of impairment."
  • Caffeine can have adverse health effects in susceptible individuals: "Therefore continued public health awareness regarding high levels of caffeine consumption, no matter what the beverage source, in sensitive individuals is certainly warranted," the researchers write.
  • Energy drink use appears to be associated with alcohol dependence and other drug use: More research is needed to clarify the possible mechanisms underlying the associations that have been observed in research studies.

Recommendations

The commentary recommends several "proactive steps to protect public health:"

  • Health care professions should inform their patients of the risks of consuming highly caffeinated energy drinks;
  • Individuals should educate themselves about those risks;
  • Manufacturers should warn consumers about the risks of mixing their products with alcohol;
  • Regulatory agencies should require energy drink manufacturers to disclose caffeine content and appropriate warnings about the risks on the labels.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Maryland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. M. Arria, M. C. O'Brien. The 'High' Risk of Energy Drinks. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011; DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.109

Cite This Page:

University of Maryland. "Non-alcoholic energy drinks may pose 'high' health risks, experts argue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110126144536.htm>.
University of Maryland. (2011, January 26). Non-alcoholic energy drinks may pose 'high' health risks, experts argue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110126144536.htm
University of Maryland. "Non-alcoholic energy drinks may pose 'high' health risks, experts argue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110126144536.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) They can't all read yet, but soon kindergarteners may be able to create basic computer code. Researchers in Massachusetts developed an app that teaches young kids a simple computer programming language. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins