A recent report by three U.S senators states that energy drink companies should refrain from marketing their highly caffeinated beverages to minors under age 18. The report is part of the senators’ ongoing investigation into energy drink companies and the lack of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations over their products. As the market for these products continues to expand after already experiencing a 60% growth between 2008 and 2012, the energy drink companies, of which include Redbull and Monster, see the need to develop product loyalty at a young age in order to maintain this growth, and market to younger age groups in order to accomplish this, despite possible health risks to minors as a result of the products ingredients. The companies maintain that they “go far beyond all federal requirements when it comes to labeling and education” and have pledged voluntarily not to advertise within schools according to a statement by an American Beverage Association spokesperson. The senator’s goal is for the FDA to set recommendations as to how much caffeine children under 18 can safely consume daily, as well as persuade energy drink companies to discontinue advertising their drinks as sports beverages that are acceptable for minors to consume.
Contributor: Johanna Hartman