Monday, 6 November 2023, 17:47
The Malaga College of Physicians has asked the Junta de Andalucía to ban the sale of energy drinks to minors. The body of medical professionals said such products if drunk regularly can have a "really harmful" effect on health. It warned that under-eighteens have incorporated these products into their day to day life “as if it were a soft drink”.
The medical body said that Andalucía “should follow the example of Galicia, which has already given the green light so that in 2024 these drinks have a regulation similar to that of alcohol”. Other regions of Spain, such as Castilla y León and Valencia are also considering following in Galicia's footsteps. However, Andalucía has not yet ruled in this regard, so the Malaga College of Physicians will request that the Junta joins this initiative, it said.
At a press conference last week the President of the Malaga College of Physicians, Pedro Navarro, said that doctors are right to pressure regional governments to legislate to prohibit the consumption of energy drinks for minors. “We have to protect young people from substances harmful to their health. It is everyone's responsibility.”
Navarro said that the habitual consumption of energy drinks is detrimental to health, since they contain amounts of caffeine, taurine and sugar which are double the daily dose recommended by the World Health Organization. “We are facing a new public health problem that requires our attention to find solutions as soon as possible,” he said.
The institution said the products should not be drunk regularly by anyone because doing so involves cardiovascular risks, neurological risks, psychological problems, and behavioural and sleep disturbances.
Doctors are concerned that the child and adolescent population considers these drinks as little more than a soft drink and warn that they are commonly mixed with alcohol. Navarro said that it is important that families do not have these drinks at home and “that they discourage their children from consuming them, explaining the risks to their health”.
The medical body stressed that energy drinks should not be confused with isotonic drinks, which are mainly composed of mineral salts.
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