HEALTH experts in Spain’s Andalusia want the region to follow in the footsteps of Galicia, and ban the sale of energy drinks to the under-18s. The College of Physicians in Malaga made the official request to the regional government on Thursday, arguing that the drinks are ‘genuinely harmful’ to health.
The doctors also claim that in recent years the consumption of energy drinks has risen among minors, and that they have incorporated them into their daily routines ‘as if they were just another kind of soft drink’.
The College points to studies that show that the drinks are harmful to health, and want the region to take similar action to Galicia. From 2024, there will be a ban in the northwestern territory of their sale to the under-18s.
“There are other regions, such as Castilla y Leon and Valencia, which are also planning on following in the footsteps of Galicia,” the College writes, as reported by online daily Diario Sur. “However, Andalusia has not made any statements about the issue, which is why the College of Physicians in Malaga is calling on the Andalusian government to join the initiative.”
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, the chairman of the College, Pedro Navarro, went even further and called on all regions to ban the sale of the drinks to minors.
“We need to protect young people from substances that are damaging to their health,” he said, according to Diario Sur. “We are all responsible.”
The College pointed to cardiovascular, neurological and psychological risks from these energy drinks, as well as their effect on behaviour and sleep.
“They can cause arrhythmias and irritability,” the College states, also warning against mixing them with alcohol. “It’s an explosive cocktail,” Navarro said.
The drinks contain caffeine, taurine and sugar, as well as other stimulants.
“The consumption of energy drinks has grown exponentially due to marketing strategies that associate them with greater physical and mental performance, and wellbeing,” the College states. “That, combined with the attractive design of their cans, variety of flavours, low cost and ease of purchase in any establishment, has made them popular with adolescents and young adults.”
The regional government in Galicia today began the process to pass a law that will put energy drinks on the same level as alcohol, and see vapes treated the same as tobacco.