Moray business owners are being urged to become more aware of the dangers to health posed by consumption of energy drinks.
Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant, whose constituency includes Moray, has renewed calls for retail businesses to become ‘Responsible Retailers of Energy Drinks’ (RRED).
Her call follows the publication last week of a study by an international research team that has concluded that energy drink can be the cause of many sudden cardia deaths in young and healthy individuals.
The study has highlighted that high-caffeine drinks can aggravate any underlying heart issues – and because of high levels of that and sugar, dangerous arrhythmias can easily develop in the hearts of young people who drink them.
In her role as shadow minister for sport and health at the Scottish Parliament, Mrs Grant said that caffeine concentrations that are equal to or higher than that found in coffee are often masked in labelling of some energy drinks.
The MSP said: “Sales of energy drinks continue to rise year on year and there is a real concern that these drinks are not only damaging to young people’s health but also their educational achievement and ability to concentrate in school.
“The mix of high caffeine and high sugar means that some 500ml cans of energy drinks contain the equivalent of more than 13 teaspoons of sugar and 160mg of caffeine, which is the same as drinking four cans of cola.
“I would like to see retailers from across the region sign up to become RRED members to ensure the health, education and wellbeing of our young people is protected.”
She added that calls to reduce the sale of energy drinks are not only coming from the report author, Dr Fabian Sanchis-Gomar, but also from people working in education.
She added: “Last year the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) with over 3,000 members agreed to support RRED because they are committed to improving wellbeing of all school pupils.
“I hope more retailers will feel they are able to commit to become RRED and I would encourage them to get in touch if they would like to get on board the campaign in the Highlands and Islands and Moray.”