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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12889-015-2685-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The funding bodies had no involvement in the interpretation or reporting of the results for the current manuscript. Authors Peacock and Bruno were provided placebo samples by Red Bull GmBH in a prior experimental study; no financial support was provided and this organisation had no involvement in design, interpretation, or reporting of the work. Red Bull GmBH have no involvement in the current manuscript. Professor Lubman has received speaker fees from AstraZeneca and Janssen, and provided consultancy advice to Lundbeck. Peter Miller receives funding from Australian Research Council and Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, grants from NSW Government, National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, Cancer Council Victoria, Queensland government and Australian Drug Foundation, travel and related costs from Australasian Drug Strategy Conference. He is affiliated with academic journal Addiction. He has acted as a paid expert witness on behalf of a licensed venue and a security firm. The researchers have no other connections with the tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceutical or gaming industries, or any body substantially funded by one of these organisations.
All authors were responsible for study design. ND and PM were responsible for data collection and cleaning. AP and RB conceptualised the current manuscript, conducted analyses and prepared the initial draft of the manuscript. All authors contributed to the manuscript revision and final draft preparation. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Despite concern regarding harms of energy drink (ED) consumption, no research has been conducted to determine awareness and compliance with ED intake guidelines displayed on product packaging in Australia (a novel approach internationally).
A convenience sample of 1922 people completed an online survey. Participants reported their knowledge of maximum recommended daily ED intake according to Australian guidelines.
Guideline awareness was reported by 38, 23 and 19 % of past year consumers, lifetime, and non-consumers, respectively. Amongst past year consumers, ‘accurate estimators’ reported greater ED intake and were more likely to exceed intake guidelines and consume alcohol mixed with ED (AmED). After controlling for demographics and frequency of use, guideline awareness predicted increased likelihood of exceeding guidelines in ED sessions, but was not associated with exceeding ED guidelines in AmED sessions.
Australia is considered to have the most stringent regulatory approach to EDs internationally. However, advisory statements are not associated with greater awareness and compliance with intake guidelines. Failure to comply with standards for efficacious product labelling, and absence of broader education regarding guidelines, needs to be addressed.