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Palpitations, hypertension, vomiting, convulsions and heart failure

Energy drinks could cause public health problems, says WHO study

Researchers argue for cap on caffeine levels, citing health risks, particularly when the drinks are consumed with alcohol

A European study found that over 70% of 18- 29-year olds drink energy drinks like Red Bull with alcohol. Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian

Energy drinks will become a significant public health problem if their use among young people is not addressed through a cap on caffeine levels and restrictions on their sale and marketing, United Nations researchers have warned.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) study said the primary risk was from high caffeine levels, which can cause problems such as palpitations, hypertension, vomiting, convulsions and in extreme cases heart failure leading to death. The paper, published in Frontiers in Public Health on Tuesday, will add to concerns about the harmful effects of excessive energy-drink consumption.

João Breda, from WHO’s Regional Office for Europe, and colleaguesThe researchers wrote that caffeine has a proven negative effect on children.

They said: “The full impact of the rise in popularity of energy drinks has not yet been quantified, but the aggressive marketing of energy drinks targeted at young people, combined with limited and varied regulation have created an environment where energy drinks could pose a significant threat to public health.”

Source: TheGuardian Read more