The ABA has moved to defend the energy drink category

The ABA has moved to defend the energy drink category

The American Beverage Association (ABA) has hit back at a report that links energy drinks to emergency visits to hospital, branding it inaccurate and unfair.

Last week's report, which said annual hospital visits involving energy drinks doubled from 2007 to 2011, failed to account for the overall health of patients, the ABA said yesterday (14 January). Instead, the group said the report shows that "42% of the reported ER visits were by someone who had admitted to consuming alcohol or taking illegal substances or pharmaceuticals.” 

The consumption of drugs and alcohol could make energy drinks' involvement irrelevant, the ABA added.

The report, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found that in 2011, there were 20,783 reported emergency room visits in which an energy drink was cited as the primary cause of or a contributing factor to a health problem, compared with 10,068 in 2007. 

Health concerns over energy drinks have been in the spotlight recently. Last year, two US senators urged the FDA to investigate the effects of energy drinks on young people, while Monster Beverages was hit with a lawsuit from the the family of a 14 year-old girl, who died after allegedly drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster energy drink.