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Energy drinks may increase desire to drink alcohol.

Energy drinks may increase desire to drink alcohol.

TIME (7/18, Sifferlin, 24.1M) reports that research (7/18, 505K) published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research suggests “that when people drink alcohol with energy drinks they have a stronger desire to keep drinking compared to people who just drank a vodka soda.” In the study, investigators “assigned 75 participants between the ages 18 and 30 to either just drink alcohol, or drink an alcohol and energy drink combination.”

Newsweek (7/18, Mejia, 105K) reports that study “participants were asked to take an Alcohol Urge Questionnaire 20 minutes before and after imbibing the libation to indicate how strong their desire was to continue drinking.” Individuals “who drank the alcohol and energy drink combo reported a greater increase in the urge to continue drinking alcohol than the group drinking only vodka.” Additionally, “the energy drink consumers…reported liking the cocktail more and wanting to drink more of it than those who only drank the vodka cocktail.”

The Today Show Online (7/18, Carroll, 595K) reports that Rebecca McKetin, the study’s lead author, said that the “findings suggest that energy drinks may increase the risk of people drinking to intoxication and consequently increase the risk of alcohol-related problems like drunk driving and alcohol-fueled violence.” Also covering the story areReuters (7/18, Seaman) and HealthDay (7/18, Mozes, 5K).

Oregon, Washington file lawsuits over energy drink claims. The AP (7/18, Dubois) reports attorneys general from Oregon and Washington state have filed separate lawsuits against companies “responsible for the popular 5-Hour Energy drink,” claiming “they engaged in deceptive advertising.” Oregon’s lawsuit alleges 5-Hour Energy “falsely claims” people get “extra energy” boost from “a unique blend of ingredients,” when in fact the “boost actually comes from a concentrated dose of caffeine.” Living Essentials LLC and Innovation Ventures LLC have been named as defendants in the lawsuits.

Meanwhile, Reuters (7/18, Haggin) reports Vermont too has sued the defendants over the alleged deceptive advertising of 5-Hour Energy. The piece noted other states could file similar lawsuits.

The news was also covered by The Oregonian (7/18, 827K).

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