Danes are consuming significantly more energy drinks than ever before, new figures have revealed. Officials from Denmark’s national food agency said on Tuesday 5 March that energy beverages are becoming increasingly popular among school-aged children. Meanwhile, the organisation’s latest report shows that overall sales doubled in 2012, with Danes consuming nearly 8.75 million litres of energy drinks over the 12-month period.
Health experts are concerned that the phenomenon could lead to negative side effects among young people, notably high blood pressure, which is commonly linked to heavy use of energy drinks. Moreover, they could prove dangerous for those already living with the condition.
Researcher and physician Boye L Jensen from the University of Southern Denmark said in an interview with the Jyllands-Posten news agency, “Moderate levels of caffeine are generally not dangerous for healthy people even though its consumption may lead to a temporary spike in blood pressure. But for people who unknowingly live with elevated blood pressure, caffeine will make it rise even further, and if combined with further physical exertion such as hard work or exercise, this could increase the risk of suffering from blood clots and strokes.”
Meanwhile, some politicians continue to back school-sponsored bans on energy drinks, and one has even proposed that the products be regulated much in the way alcohol is sold.
MP Per Clausen from the Enhedslisten party told Jyllands-Posten, “There may be a number of people, including adults, who are not entirely sure what energy drinks contain. This should be taken up by schools and I praise those that have taken responsibility and banned unhealthy substances. But I want to underline that as far as children and energy drinks are concerned, it’s the primary responsibility of parents.”