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Energy drinks cause obesity: Survey

Posted on Dec 24, 07:18PM | IBNS

About 71pc of adolescents in urban centers of India consume energy drinks which leads to seizures, diabetic, cardiac abnormalities and behavioral disorders, reveals a just concluded survey by apex industry body ASSOCHAM.

The statistics are shocking as many children are becoming overly involved and obsessed by a wide variety of substances that promise to boost energy, appearance, performance, improved immunity and overall health.

Over 85pc of school and college students said, these drinks are easily available easily available in the market like retail stores, bars and pubs etc.

ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) team conducted the survey in major states-cities of Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Haryana, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Lucknow and interacted with around 2,500 adolescents (almost equal number of males and females) in the age group of 14-30 years.

The survey was carried out during November 2012 on "Increasing demand of energy drinks among youngsters".

The use of energy drinks increased with age, especially in boys, with almost 55pc of 12th grade consuming energy drinks to boost their game. Energy drinks have observed a growth of 45 per cent in Mumbai (ranks 1st), 42pc in Bangalore (ranks 2nd) and 40pc per cent in the Delhi (ranks 3rd) in the past few months.

The target buyers for energy drinks continue to be the young and working Indian population, reveals the survey.

Energy drinks are non-alcoholic beverages containing caffeine, guarana, glucuronolactone, taurine, ginseng, inositol, carnitine, B-vitamins, etc as main ingredients that act as stimulants. These drinks contain high levels of caffeine, which stimulates the nervous system, said Dr. B K Rao, Chairman ASSOCHAM Health Committee.

"These drinks include high levels of sugar and up to 270 calories in each bottle - in addition to potentially harmful levels of caffeine, which has been linked to seizures, heart problems and behavioural disorders," said Dr. Rao.

Among 82pc teenagers, admitted that they opt for energy drinks during exercise for "extra energy", 61 per cent for "better hydration" and 40 per cent as they "prefer the taste". The consumption levels and situations in which people are consuming these energy drinks are worry some, said Rao.

"Indian market for energy drink has grown exponentially in the last decade. The primary targets of the industry's marketing campaigns are young adults. As a result, school and colleges are frequent consumers of the products," said D S. Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM.

The energy drinks market in India is estimated at Rs 1,300 crore growing at the compound annual growth of rate 30pc , said Rawat.

Liquor sales are also facing the impact due to increase in consumption of energy drinks, highlights the survey. Energy drinks have not only brought down the aerated drinks business, but it has also now gradually started affecting the liquor sales, pointed out Rawat.

Currently, two major brands dominate the energy drinks segment in India, and this market seems to be increasing by 50 per cent per annum, added the survey.

Energy drinks are urban phenomena and supermarkets are the primary channels of their sales. Apart from retail sales, energy drinks are sold in bars and pubs along with alcohol, mentioned the survey.

Key players in Indian energy drinks market:

Red Bull - Company is market leader and is closely associated with energy drinks

Coca-cola - Burn

Goldwin Healthcare Pvt - Cloud9

JMJ Group - XXX