Responding to a recent article in the medical journal Pediatrics in Review titled “Energy Drinks: What Teenagers (and Their Doctors) Should Know,” the American Beverage Association (ABA) slammed the authors of the article for “perpetuating sensational untruths.”
“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,” the ABA said in a statement.
According to Forbes, the Pediatrics in Review article asserts that energy drink companies market directly to adolescents and that high caffeine intake has led to teen health problems like insomnia, anxiety, elevated blood pressure and digestive issues. The article also noted that high school and college students regularly mix alcohol with energy drinks leading them to underestimate their level of inebriation and engage in risky behavior.
The ABA said that despite the article’s assertions, most mainstream energy drinks contain about half the caffeine of a similarly sized cup of coffee, and their ingredients and labeling are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Let’s stick with the facts, rather than perpetuating sensational untruths which attempt to blur the line between energy drinks and alcoholic beverages,” the ABA said.
The ABA’s statement also mentioned that the industry group has adopted, and encourages energy drink companies to follow a set of labeling guidelines for energy drinks. The ABA’s Guidance for the Responsible Labeling and Marketing of Energy Drinks advocates that companies voluntarily display caffeine amounts on their packages and include a statement that the products are not intended or recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women and those sensitive to caffeine.