According to a study conducted by Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health at Teesside University, and Newcastle University in the UK, energy drinks are linked to suicidal thoughts in children.
According to new research, there may be more danger to children’s and young people’s brains from energy drinks than previously believed.
Anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, and suicidal thoughts were among the mental health issues that people who drank energy drinks were found to be more likely to experience, according to a study conducted by Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health at Teesside University, and Newcastle University in the UK. The Public Health Journal published it last month.
To reach their conclusions, researchers claimed to have examined data from 57 studies involving over 1.2 million adolescents and young adults from more than 21 different nations.
While “many studies” indicated a relationship between energy drink use and alcohol usage, binge drinking, smoking, and other substance use, it was discovered that guys consumed more energy drinks than girls.
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According to a report by the Telegraph, lab leaks have increased by 50% since the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, with 156 instances of lab leaks or mishaps since January 2020.
“Additional health effects noted in the updated review included increased risk of suicide, psychological distress, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms, depressive and panic behaviors, allergic diseases, insulin resistance, dental caries, and erosive tooth wear,” an abstract of the paper said.
In terms of the effects on mental health, it was discovered that “frequent” energy drink consumption “was associated with severe stress and suicide attempts,” and that “intake of [energy drinks] greater than once per day was also associated with higher rates of suicide ideation and attempts.”
“Longitudinal analysis reported that [energy drink] consumption was related to increased ADHD inattention, conduct disorder, depressive, and panic symptoms,” it continued to say.
Newcastle University co-author Shelina Visram expressed her “deep concern about the findings that energy drinks can lead to psychological distress and issues with mental health” in a news release.
“These are important public health concerns that need to be addressed,” she added. “There has been policy inaction on this area despite [UK] government concern and public consultations. It is time that we take action on the fastest-growing sector of the soft drink market.”
The UK-based experts also suggested that the government restrict or outright outlaw energy drinks for minors and younger adults.
“This evidence suggests that energy drinks have no place in the diets of children and young people,” author Amelia Lake, professor of public health nutrition at Teesside University, told Fox News on Thursday. “Policymakers should follow the example of countries that have placed age restrictions on their sales to children.”
This is because, according to their research, scientists have discovered a longer list of negative effects on children’s and young people’s mental and physical health that are linked to energy drink consumption.
“We repeated [the review] only to find an ever-growing evident space that suggests the consumption of these drinks is associated with negative health outcomes,” Ms. Lake continued.
Energy drink sales to minors are prohibited in Latvia and Lithuania, among other nations that have already attempted to restrict the product. According to reports, other nations including Finland and Poland are also considering outlawing the sale of the goods to anybody under the age of 18.
Meanwhile, UK officials responded to the study. “We consulted on a proposal to end the sale of energy drinks to children under 16 in England and will set out our full response in due course,” a spokesperson for the UK Department of Health and Social Care told the BBC. “In the meantime, many larger retailers and supermarkets have voluntarily introduced a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children under 16.”
However, a few years ago, Christopher Snowdon, the head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs in the UK, concluded that these kinds of prohibitions unfairly single out minors and that there is insufficient data to connect the drinks to harmful behaviors.
“The current scientific evidence alone is not sufficient to justify a measure as prohibitive as a statutory ban on the sale of energy drinks to children,” he wrote in an article published in 2020.