*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on ScienceDaily.
Supersized alcopops are ready-to-drink flavored alcoholic beverages with high alcohol content that are disproportionately consumed by underage drinkers. There can be up to 5.5 standard alcoholic drinks in a single 24 ounce can, so consuming only one can of supersized alcopop is considered binge drinking, and consuming two cans can cause alcohol poisoning. Still, these products remain under-regulated and are available inexpensively at gas stations and convenience stores, where they are more readily accessible by underage youth.
New research led by George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services found that nearly one-half (46.3 %) of all calls to U.S. poison control centers involving supersized alcopop consumption were made for consumers below the legal drinking age. Additionally, in every year studied, the proportion of calls for supersized alcopops among underage drinkers greatly exceeded the proportion of calls that were for underage drinkers for other types of alcohol.
Dr. Matthew Rossheim, an expert on supersized alcopop consumption and related health outcomes, led the study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. This study is the first report of clinical data within the last decade to examine negative effects from supersized alcopop consumption.
“A number of studies we’ve conducted have shown that supersized alcopops are commonly consumed by underage drinkers, which often results in serious negative consequences,” explains Rossheim. “Our latest data show a clear trend of supersized alcopop consumption among underage young people requiring poison center services. In this way, supersized alcopops appear to pose a distinct threat to youth.”