This is what energy drinks can do to children ages 11 to 17
The Ministry of Health is "in favor of limiting the access and consumption of minors to energy drinks", as it already proposed in the recommendations document of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN), according to ministerial sources told Europa Press, consulted after learning that, in a matter of months, Galicia will prohibit it by law.
However, from Health they remember that the "competence" lies with the AESAN, which depends on the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. Thus, its latest document published with recommendations on the consumption of energy drinks, which dates back to February 2022, warns that the intake of these highly caffeinated drinks in adolescents between 11 and 17 years of age can cause sleep disturbances and psychological effects. , behavioral alterations and cardiovascular disorders.
Specifically, the consumption of more than 60 milligrams of caffeine in adolescents between 11 and 17 years old, that is, about 200 milliliters of an energy drink with 32 mg of caffeine/100 ml, can cause sleep disturbances. And, starting at 160 milligrams of caffeine; That is, 500 milliliters of an energy drink with 32 mg of caffeine/100 ml can have general adverse health effects. For this reason, "its consumption is not recommended for children or pregnant or breastfeeding women."
Furthermore, it highlights that these types of drinks "should not be combined with alcoholic beverages" since "the consumption of alcohol mixed or in combination with energy drinks leads to altered subjective states that, among other effects, include a decrease in the perception of alcohol intoxication." ".
The document points out that harmful effects can also be caused by other foods that contain caffeine such as coffee, tea, chocolate, guarana, etc. For this reason, the Ministry emphasizes that "its consumption in adolescents is not recommended." According to consumer guidelines, beverages with a high caffeine content are those that provide more than 15 milligrams of this substance per 100 milliliters of beverage.
"On the labeling of these drinks, the caffeine content must be reported and is expressed in milligrams per 100 milliliters (mg/100 ml). Normally, on average, the so-called 'energy drinks' contain 32 mg of caffeine/100 ml," indicates the document.
Likewise, Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 requires the following mention to be included on the labeling of beverages with high caffeine content: "High caffeine content: Not recommended for children or pregnant or breastfeeding women", in the same visual field than the name of the drink, followed by a reference to the caffeine content expressed in milligrams per 100 milliliters.
GALICIA PREPARES A LAW
Galicia is preparing a bill to prohibit the sale of these drinks to minors, while limiting their advertising. This Tuesday, the president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alfonso Rueda, stated that "the experts" will be in charge of "delimiting" what type of energy drinks will be regulated by the new Law for the Prevention of Addictions among young people.
As he explained, this legislative measure "aims to provide a solution to a public health problem"; and it is expected that "in a few weeks" it will pass through the Xunta Council, before arriving at Parliament. The reason, he stressed, is that its consumption has increased "very noticeably" and has become a "problem", since these are drinks that "have many stimulants."
Given this initiative, communities such as Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha and the Valencian Community have already positioned themselves and welcome this measure to control the consumption of energy drinks in young people.
Thus, the Minister of Health of Castilla y León, Alejandro Vázquez, has assured that this community "is studying the possibility of prohibiting the consumption of energy drinks among minors." For his part, the Health Minister of the Valencian Community, Marciano Gómez, has assured that "the restriction of energy drinks to minors will be studied in a sensible and calm manner if appropriate."
Meanwhile, the general director of Public Health of Castilla-La Mancha, Laura Ruiz, has assured that the ban on energy drinks for minors is an "interesting" issue and "to be studied."
You can also read: He lost his teeth after becoming addicted to an energy drink
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