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January 15, 2024
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ADPH join call for restrictions on energy drinks

We have joined more than 40 health related organisations in calling on the Government to finally restrict the sale and marketing of energy drinks to children and young people following the publication of a study which has found that drinking energy drinks is associated with an increased risk of mental health issues among children and young people, including anxiety, stress and depression.

The study’s findings build on earlier research but highlight more risks associated with energy drinks, which typically contain high levels of caffeine and sugar. Additional health effects noted in this review include increased risk of suicidal thoughts, psychological distress, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, depressive and panic behaviours, allergic diseases, insulin resistance, and tooth decay.

The researchers, from Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, at Teesside University and Newcastle University, looked at data from 57 studies of over 1.2 million children and young people from more than 21 countries and found that energy drink consumption was more common among boys than girls, and was also associated with increased risky behaviours such as substance use, violence, and unsafe sex.

The research also links consumption of the drinks with an increased risk of poor academic performance, sleep problems, and unhealthy dietary habits.

The new study adds to the growing body of evidence that energy drinks are harmful to the health of children and young people and highlights the need for regulatory action to restrict the sale and marketing of energy drinks to children and young people.

Read the letters, co-signed by Greg Fell, ADPH President to the Rt Hon Victoria Atkins MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

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