A group of 18 doctors, researchers and public health experts urged the Food and Drug Administration on to take action on energy drinks to protect adolescents and children from the possible risks of consuming high amounts of caffeine.

“There is evidence in the published scientific literature that the caffeine levels in energy drinks pose serious potential health risks,” the doctors and researchers wrote, especially among young people. The group urged the FDA to restrict caffeine in the products and require caffeine content on product labels.

Energy drink makers have insisted that their products are safe and that their levels of caffeine, a stimulant, are on a par with other widely consumed drinks, like coffee.

In 2011, there were 20,783 emergency room visits attributed to energy drinks, compared with 10,068 in 2007. Excessive caffeine consumption can cause anxiety, headaches, irregular heartbeats and heart attacks.

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