The American Medical Association said on Tuesday that it supports a ban on marketing energy drinks to children.
At its annual policy meeting in Chicago, the group called for limits on marketing high-caffeine energy drinks to individuals under the age of 18, arguing that studies have linked the beverages to serious health problems.
"Energy drinks contain massive and excessive amounts of caffeine that may lead to a host of health problems in young people, including heart problems, and banning companies from marketing these products to adolescents is a common sense action that we can take to protect the health of American kids," Dr. Alexander Ding, an AMA board member, said in a statement, according to Thomson Reuters.
Energy drinks have drawn scrutiny in recent months from both the federal government and private citizens, even as sales of the drinks rose 17 percent last year. Last October, the parents of Anais Fournier sued Monster Beverage Corp. after the teen died following the consumption of two 24-ounce cans of Monster Energy drink.
New York’s attorney general subpoenaed Monster, PepsiCo Inc. and Living Essentials LLC as part of an investigation into whether the companies are underestimating the amount of caffeine in their products, while overstating their health benefits.
The American Beverage Association, however, says that most energy drinks contain far less caffeine than a similarly sized cup of coffee. A spokesperson for the organization also told Thomson Reuters that the companies alert customers to both the amount of caffeine in the beverages and their possible health effects.
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