DURHAM, N.H. -- University of New Hampshire President Mark W. Huddleston will delay implementation of a decision announced earlier today to stop selling energy drinks in its retail and vending locations beginning in January 2012.
The president cited conflicting evidence about the health effects of consuming the beverages, as well as student reactions to the just-announced ban, in announcing his own decision. “I respect the efforts of the staff in UNH Dining to present the healthiest possible choices in our food service and vending locations,” said Huddleston. “In this case, I am personally aware of conflicting reports about the caffeine and sugar content of some of these beverages, and I want to be sure we respect our students’ ability to make informed choices about what they consume. I have asked my colleagues to defer implementation of the intended ban until we can further explore the relevant facts and involve students more directly in our decision.”
The overriding concern cited in the announcement to stop selling energy drinks such as Full Throttle, Red Bull and NOS, was their propensity for abuse by college-age students who sometimes consume too many of them, or else mix them with alcohol, masking symptoms of intoxication. A recent study by College Student Educators International said that students who mixed alcohol and energy drinks reported double the incidence rates of injuring themselves, requiring medical attention, and being taken advantage of sexually than those who drank only alcohol.
Huddleston said he wanted more data about usage patterns among UNH students before making a final decision on the availability of energy drinks on campus.