Obesity :: Caffeine drinks may contribute to obesity

Rising consumption of energy drinks that contain high levels of sugar and caffeine may be contributing to our expanding waistlines, according to new research that could prove damaging for the booming energy drinks market.

Professor Elaine Rush from the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand claims to have found that an energy drink containing sugar, added caffeine and guarana causes the body to convert sugar into fat more rapidly than lemonade.

Lemonade and other sodas are already being blamed by consumer groups for their role in increasing childhood obesity as many have a high sugar content.

But energy drinks have previously been exempted from such attention as their caffeine content was thought to increase metabolism.

The new study is small and will need to be confirmed by further research. However it will need a close look by energy drinks makers, set to make sales of more than ?1 billion (1.46bn) in the UK this year, according to Mintel data.

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