Senator Jay Rockefeller, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, noted in a press release (7/31/13) that pediatricians have expressed concern about health problems children who ingest energy drinks could face, and further raised alarm about the marketing of energy drinks to children and teens.
The hearing, called “Energy Drinks: Exploring Concerns about Marketing to Youth,” follows a Congressional report that found multiple energy drink makers were marketing their drinks specifically to younger consumers. Rockefeller expressed concern that the drinks were being marketed to children and teens even as health experts voiced concern about use of the energy drinks.
“With doctors saying that energy drinks pose risks of heart arrhythmia, increased blood pressure and dehydration - particularly among young people - I want to explore whether companies are being responsible in the way they market energy drinks,” Rockefeller said in his written statement.
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Meanwhile, the American Medical Association has reportedly spoken out to encourage a ban on marketing energy drinks to children and youth. According to American Medical News (2/18/13), a study published March 1, 2011, in Pediatrics, found that between 30 and 50 percent of adolescents and young adults consume energy drinks, and 46 percent of caffeine overdoses reported in 2007 involved people younger than 19. The study’s authors noted that many ingredients in energy drinks are “understudied and not regulated.”