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TV commercials for energy drinks to be restricted next year


SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- Television commercials for energy drinks, which are high in sugar and caffeine, will be restricted from next year, the country's food watchdog said Monday.

Under revised guidelines, TV advertisements for foods containing high levels of caffeine are banned from airing during children's viewing time from 5:00 p.m. to 7 p.m., according to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

Energy drinks, a type of beverage containing large amounts of stimulants like caffeine, have gained popularity in South Korea in recent years with young people seeking mental and physical stimulation.

Market insiders estimated that South Korea's local energy drink market jumped to 100 billion won (US$93.5 million) in sales in 2012, more than tripling the 30 billion won in 2011.

Lotte Chilsung Co.'s Hot 6, Dongsuh Food Corp.'s Red Bull and Coca Cola Korea Co.'s Burn Intense are the three best-selling energy drinks in the country.

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