Doctors say energy drinks pose serious health risks

High energy drinks have become very popular among teenagers and young adults in recent years as a way to get a quick caffeine jolt any time, day or night. But they could also pose a serious risk.

The death of a 14-year-old Maryland girl last December is an alarming example of the potential dangers of these beverages. The teen, who had a heart condition, drank two 24-ounce high-caffeine "Monster" energy drinks. The next day, she went into cardiac arrest, and six days later, she died from what doctors said was cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity.

Despite years of studies calling for the FDA to regulate the drinks, that hasn't happened.

The American Beverage Association say it's adopted voluntary policies pertaining to energy drink labels and marketing to children.

Some do offer warnings, and some don't.

However, doctors have their own warning.

Emergency rooms across the country have seen a dramatic increase in caffeine overdoses.

Just over 1,100 ER visits in 2005 linked to high energy drinks has grown to more than 16,000 in 2008 and more than 13,000 in 2009.


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