As part of the broader beverages industry, Energy Drinks Europe (EDE) acknowledges that energy drink manufacturers have an important role to play in both addressing overweight and obesity, and in promoting the responsible consumption of caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks.
EDE members strongly believe that acting on portion sizes for all food and beverage products is key to address both challenges, and that action on portion sizes is an effective and evidence-based tool:
Overweight and obesity
In 2019, the OECD report on obesity, The Heavy Burden of Obesity, concluded that portion size restrictions can be used as a public health instrument to reduce consumption of energy-dense foods. This could be done by “providing food in single portions, banning large portions, marketing of the desired portion size or designing products to clearly delineate a portion”.
Action on reducing portion size is supported by the McKinsey Global Institute. They concluded in their important study, Overcoming obesity: An initial economic analysis, that smaller portion sizes are the most effective measure to address overweight and obesity, and are a much more impactful response to dietary challenges than fiscal interventions or other restrictions.
To support the above, EDE members are committed to setting the standard reference size for single serve beverages at 250 ml. This is not only for the energy drink category, but for all sugar-sweetened beverages (as a 250 ml portion contains the same amount of sugars as the same-sized apple juice, orange juice or conventional soft drink). In addition, EDE members provide sugar free options for their products to further support addressing overweight and obesity.
EDE members also participate in a multi-sector group of stakeholders, consisting of corporate, non-profit, scientific, and governmental actors that are together promoting portion control of food and beverages. Based on an evidence-based, transparent, and informative approach, the group’s goal is to promote addressing portion sizes so that consumers can choose and enjoy balanced food portions to support a healthy way of life.
Responsible consumption of caffeine
A 250 ml can of a typical energy drink contains around 80 milligrams of caffeine. According to conclusions of the European Food Safety Authority, 75-80 milligrams of caffeine in a single serve is all that is required to achieve the functional effect that energy drinks provide.
As a result, the perfect portion for any caffeinated food has about 80 milligrams of caffeine.