Following on the heels of reports linking ill health effects to energy drinks like Monster and 5-Hour Energy, a new government study says those beverages are “a rising public health problem,” and have been linked to 20,000 visits to emergency rooms around the country.
A survey of U.S. Hospitals by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that the number of ER visits tied to energy drinks has doubled in the last four years. Back in 2007 there were 10,000 and that number has spiked to 20,000 in 2011, reports ABC News.
Out of those 20,000 visits, 42% of the cases involved mixing the drink with other stimulants like Adderal, Ritalin or alcohol. The rest were reportedly just the result of drinking the beverage itself.
While critics and experts have been calling BS on claims by energy drinks that they’re actually beneficial to your health, critics of the stuff say it’s completely the opposite. To that point, the Food and Drug Administration recently released a report linking five deaths to consumption of 5-Hour Energy, and an investigation by the New York Times upped that number to an alleged 13 total deaths.
Despite the mounting evidence against the energy drinks, the American Beverage Association, the industry trade association, told ABC News that the drinks are totally safe and that it is “impossible to understand the actual role — if any — of energy drinks in these hospital visits.” And besides, says the ABA, “mainstream energy drinks contain about half the caffeine of a similar size cup of coffeehouse coffee.”
The FDA says it will pay close attention to the numbers reported in this study.
“We will examine this information to determine whether it can be used to assess whether energy-drink products can be legitimately linked to the types of adverse events reported in the … data,” an FDA spokesman said.
20K ER Visits Linked to Energy Drinks [ABC News]