Beverage Industry Responds to Energy Drink Paper

Published in CSP Daily News

American Beverage Association says article perpetuates "sensational untruths"

WASHINGTON -- The American Beverage Association (ABA) has responded to "Energy Drinks: What Teenagers (and Their Doctors) Should Know," an article to be published in the February issue of Pediatrics in Review, saying that it perpetuates "sensational untruths which attempt to blur the line between energy drinks and alcoholic beverages."

According to a Forbes report, the study--unavailable at press time--alleges that the energy drink industry markets directly to adolescents and that high caffeine consumption is associated with a variety of teen health issues, such as insomnia, anxiety, elevated blood pressure and digestive problems.

Researchers also claim that high school and college students who mix their alcohol with energy drinks fail to appreciate the strength of the caffeinated combo and underestimate how drunk they really are. Consuming a can of a caffeinated alcoholic beverage may be equivalent to drinking a bottle of wine and a few cups of coffee, the researchers said.

The ABA issued the following statement:

"This paper contains misinformation about energy drinks and does nothing to address the very serious problem of underage drinking and excessive alcohol consumption among young adults. Moreover, ABA member companies manufacture nonalcoholic beverages--including energy drinks. Contrary to the misperception perpetuated by this paper, most mainstream energy drinks contain only about half the amount of caffeine of a similar size cup of coffeehouse coffee. Energy drinks, their ingredients and labeling also are regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Importantly, the [ABA] has adopted, and encourages all energy drink companies to adopt a 'Guidance for the Responsible Labeling & Marketing of Energy Drinks.' Under this guidance, companies voluntarily display caffeine amounts from all sources on their packages along with an advisory statement that the product is not intended or recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women and persons sensitive to caffeine. Let's stick with the facts, rather than perpetuating sensational untruths which attempt to blur the line between energy drinks and alcoholic beverages."

The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute nonalcoholic beverages in the United States.