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Health Effects and Public Health Concerns of Energy Drink Consumption in the United States: A Mini-Review

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Review

Health Effects and Public Health Concerns of Energy Drink Consumption in the United States: A Mini-Review

Laila Al-Shaar et al. Front Public Health.

Abstract

As energy drink consumption continues to grow worldwide and within the United States, it is important to critically examine the nutritional content and effects on population health of these beverages. This mini-review summarizes the current scientific evidence on health consequences from energy drink consumption, presents relevant public health challenges, and proposes recommendations to mitigate these issues. Emerging evidence has linked energy drink consumption with a number of negative health consequences such as risk-seeking behaviors, poor mental health, adverse cardiovascular effects, and metabolic, renal, or dental conditions. Despite the consistency in evidence, most studies are of cross-sectional design or focus almost exclusively on the effect of caffeine and sugar, failing to address potentially harmful effects of other ingredients. The negative health effects associated with energy drinks (ED) are compounded by a lack of regulatory oversight and aggressive marketing by the industry toward adolescents. Moreover, the rising trend of mixing ED with alcohol presents a new challenge that researchers and public health practitioners must address further. To curb this growing public health issue, policy makers should consider creating a separate regulatory category for ED, setting an evidence-based upper limit on caffeine, restricting sales of ED, and regulating existing ED marketing strategies, especially among children and adolescents.

Keywords: beverages; energy drinks; food policy; health effects; regulation; review.

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