Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverage Consumption Increasing

Use in young adults emerging as a public health issue; paper recommends further research

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Substantial increases in the consumption of caffeinated alcoholic beverages (CABs) among young adults have emerged as a public health problem, and the issue requires further investigation with well-controlled experimental trials and survey research, according to research published online Nov. 30 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Jonathan Howland, Ph.D., of Boston University, and colleagues outline the extent to which CABs are emerging as a public health problem and suggest areas of research that may help address the issue.

Overall, the consumption of CABs has substantially increased since 2001, the authors write. Studies have shown that young adults who consume CABs take part in increased risky behaviors, though the underlying mechanisms by which CABs could increase risky behaviors remain unclear. In response to this public health concern, 13 State Attorneys General and the City Attorney of San Francisco negotiated settlements with two CAB producers who agreed to remove all stimulants from their products; however, more than 25 other products remain on the market. In 2009, the U.S. Food and drug Administration challenged CAB manufacturers to prove that their products were not a health hazard. The authors also make recommendations for research and policies to address the emerging issue.

"The emerging public health response to CABs should include a research agenda that provides evidence-based information for policymaking and public education," the authors write.

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