Supersized Alcopop Related Calls in the National Poison Data System, 2010–2019
Supersized alcopops are single-serving high-alcohol-content beverages frequently consumed by underage youth. However, little data exist regarding the public health burden of supersized alcopops during the last decade. The current study examined the characteristics of calls to U.S. poison control centers involving supersized alcopops. This study also compared the proportion of calls for underage consumers between calls involving consumption of supersized alcopops and calls involving other types of alcohol (e.g., liquor, beer, wine).
Data from the National Poison Data System (NPDS) repository of calls to U.S. poison control centers were analyzed.
Between 2010 and 2019, poison control centers received 1719 calls for exposures to supersized alcopops. Nearly one-half of calls involving supersized alcopop consumption (46.3 %) were made for consumers who were below the legal age for alcohol use. In all years, the proportion of calls for supersized alcopops that were for underage exposures greatly exceeded the proportion of calls that were for underage exposures for other types of alcohol. For those 0–11 years of age, 91 % of supersized alcopop exposures were unintentional; however, for each other age group, at least 84 % of exposures were intentional. Supersized alcopop exposures involved a co-ingested product in more than 80 % of cases among patients of legal age and less than 50 % of cases among patient under legal age.
Compared to other alcohol products, calls to U.S poison control centers for supersized alcopops disproportionately involved underage youth. To protect youth, improved regulation of supersized alcopop products is urgently needed.