2 October 2014

Industry responds to iron deficiency claims in energy drink consumers

The Australian Beverages Council, representing 99% of the domestic energy drink market, has today rejected  any Australian context for claims from a British study suggesting increased consumption of high-caffeine energy drinks may be linked to iron deficiency among teenage girls.

“Despite ill-informed comments to the contrary, relatively few teenagers actually consume energy drinks, with the Government’s own data pointing to just 3.8% of dietary caffeine coming from energy drinks for 14-16 year olds and the average intake for females of this age range is just 36mg of caffeine. In contrast, 50% of caffeine intake for this age group comes from tea and coffee. Clearly energy drinks aren’t the issue for female teenagers” said the Council’s CEO, Mr Geoff Parker.

“Australia’s strict regulations for energy drinks limit the caffeine content at 80mg for a 250mL can. This is the equivalent caffeine to a cup of instant coffee.

“In addition to caps on the amount of caffeine in energy drinks, food law also requires all labels to carry warning statements that the product is not suitable for children and an advisory statement recommending no more than 500mL be consumed per day. This is the equivalent caffeine of two cups of instant coffee and these regulations far exceed anything in place for any other caffeinated product be that coffee, tea, chocolate or flavoured milk” Mr Parker said.

To further promote a responsible approach to consumption and marketing of energy drinks, the industry commits to the following guidelines:

• Energy drinks are not made available in primary nor secondary schools

• Marketing and advertising activities of energy drinks are not directed at children

• No promotional activities are undertaken that encourage excessive consumption of energy drinks

• Labels of energy drinks do not promote the mixing of energy drinks with any other beverage


Geoff Parker, CEO of Australian Beverages Council

The Australian Beverages Council is the peak body for the non-alcoholic beverages industry and represents 95% of the industry’s production volume through membership.

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