Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has warned the public about harmful effects of energy drinks on the health of children and adolescents.
In a social media campaign, HMC has listed five major harms of energy drinks, calling for children and adolescents to refrain from consuming energy drinks. It has said that energy drinks will make alteration to the heart’s electrical activity and increased risk of heart and artery diseases among children and adolescents. Energy drinks can also cause disturbance of the nervous system, sleeplessness, stress, and anxiety. They can lead to increased risk of obesity, early onset of insulin resistance, and severe damage to teeth due to their high acid content.
HMC said energy drinks also lead to impaired memory and inability to concentrate.
Energy drinks contain high levels of a stimulant ingredient, usually caffeine, as well as sugar and often supplements, such as vitamins or carnitine. In an earlier statement, HMC said energy drinks give a false sense of energy and trick the body into staying awake for longer, and over-consumption of these beverages can have negative health consequences.
The energy drinks market in Qatar is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% over the analysis period of 2021 to 2027, according to data and analytics company StrategyHelix.
However several steps have been taken by authorities to control the consumption of energy drinks in the country. It is part of efforts to reduce the use of energy drinks particularly among the youth and also encourage the consumption of natural healthy alternatives.
The Selective Tax law by the Ministry of Finance imposed taxes on certain health-damaging goods and it is being implemented since 2019.
The law includes a 100% tax on tobacco and its products and energy drinks, and a 50% tax on sugary drinks.
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce has banned the sale of any energy drink in the market without the cautionary labels being prominently displayed on the packages since 2016. Cautionary labels should be clearly displayed in English and Arabic against a white background.
By Fazeena Saleem | The Peninsula