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Is the sales ban coming? Energy drinks are not harmless pickups
The so-called energy drinks are extremely popular, especially among young people. The sweet, caffeinated trend drinks mixed with alcohol are often consumed. Doctors and consumer protection groups have been warning of the health risks for years. A sales ban for under-16s is currently being considered.
Adolescents consume too much caffeine
Regardless of whether it's "Red Bull", "Monster" or "Booster": caffeine-containing energy drinks are extremely popular with young people. Manufacturers are also doing something for it. They aggressively advertise the sugary-sweet drinks that should give you a kick. The drinks are presented in cool cans and spectacular sports events are sponsored. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), adolescents consume too much caffeine. The agency released a study in May that showed 68 percent of teenagers in the EU are already consuming energy drinks. According to the information, one in four of them with three or more doses in a row exceed the amount of caffeine classified as safe.
Energy drinks and their health consequences
For years, health experts have been warning about caution when it comes to energy drinks. A new website has recently been launched that shows what happens in the body after a can of Red Bull. After high consumption, there may be a rapid heartbeat or high blood pressure. As the dpa news agency reports, the consumer protection organization Foodwatch warns that the pick-me-up is suspected of causing cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, kidney failure and even deaths. Just like the Society of European Pediatric Cardiologists, the organization demands a Europe-wide ban on the sale of trendy drinks to minors. Although the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag is campaigning for a ban on under 16-year-olds, Foodwatch's intention was to completely ban the highly concentrated so-called energy shots.
Awareness campaign on energy drinks planned
Such demands were described as "absolutely disproportionate" by the non-alcoholic beverages association. According to the association, a 250 milligram beverage can of a typical energy drink contains approximately the same amount of caffeine as a cup of filter coffee. And Federal Minister of Food Christian Schmidt (CSU) said: “Bans are ineffective here. We need to raise awareness instead. We are achieving sustainable success through education and training. ”As the politician announced when asked about dpa, he would start an education campaign on energy drinks and other caffeinated foods this year. Among other things, leaflets, internet and radio programs and materials for school lessons are planned in this context.
Irresponsible course of the federal government
The Göttingen pediatric cardiologist Martin Hulpke-Wette considers the course of the black and red federal government to be irresponsible. As the doctor explained, a ban is necessary because the consequences of the chronic, high-dose consumption of energy drinks in adolescence have not yet been scientifically investigated. According to the doctor, at least 700,000 children in Germany suffer from high blood pressure, most of whom know nothing about it.
In the meantime there are even “Energy Sweets” on the market. These are caffeine-containing fruit gums in the form of cans. "For me this is the perversion par excellence. Younger and younger children should be fed with it, ”said Hulpke-Wette. Obviously, the massive economic interests would outweigh the safety of children and adolescents, the doctor said. As with cigarettes and alcohol, the protection of minors must also take effect on this topic.
Specifications have recently been tightened
However, the Federal Ministry of Youth sees no reason for a consumption or tax ban due to the current state of research. As announced by the Ministry of Food, the requirements for energy drinks have only recently been tightened.
Accordingly, the permitted caffeine content was limited to a maximum of 320 milligrams per liter. If there are more than 150 milligrams of caffeine per liter, in addition to the "Increased caffeine content" notice, a second warning has also been added since last December: "Not recommended for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women." (Ad)