US: American Beverage Association criticises SAMHSA energy report
The energy drinks report was published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The American Beverage Association (ABA) has hit out at a study in the US that claims there has been a "ten-fold increase" in hospital emergency department visits involving energy drinks between 2005 and 2009.
The report, published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) yesterday (22 November), claims that hospital visits associated with the use of energy drinks increased from 1,128 in 2005 to 13,114 in 2009. The highest level occurred in 2008, with 16,055 visits recorded.
The study found that around 77% of the visits were made by people aged 18 to 39 and that males made up 64% of that number.
"The beverage industry, consumer groups, community coalitions, the healthcare community, teachers, parents and others must get the word out that quick fix energy drinks are not a solution and carry great risks, especially in combination with other substances of abuse," said SAMHSA administrator Pamela Hyde.
The ABA, however, believes the paper is "a troubling example of statistics taken out of context".
"The number of emergency room visits by people who consumed energy drinks, as reported in the paper, represented less than one one-hundredth of 1% of all emergency visits" the ABA said in a statement.
"In addition, this report shares no information about the overall health of those who allegedly consumed energy drinks, or even what symptoms brought them to the ER in the first place," the association added.
"There is nothing unique about the ingredients in energy drinks, including caffeine. Most mainstream energy drinks contain about half the caffeine of a similar size cup of coffeehouse coffee," the ABA said.
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