Killing the Buzz: Reducing Youth Consumption of Energy Drinks in British Columbia

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Recent medical studies and international prevalence data on energy drink consumption indicate that children, adolescents and teenagers are at risk of serious short and long term negative health effects due to the high amounts of caffeine in energy drinks. Current research demonstrates that energy drink consumption may cause exacerbated mood and behavioural disorders, seizures, and serious cardiovascular problems. Research into the long term health effects is nascent but warrants further research and precaution due to the possible severity of these effects and because youth consumption of energy drinks is rising quickly. This study investigates policies and research pertaining to energy drink safety in jurisdictions inside and outside of Canada, and then evaluates strategies to reduce youth consumption of energy drinks in British Columbia. A ban on consumption by persons below 19 years old and educational and media campaigns are determined to be the most effective feasible policy options.
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