On the heels of the fight to keep caffeine-packed alcoholic “energy drinks” out of the hands of young people, a new health concern is emerging over a new product — whipped cream with a twist. Cans of flavored alcohol-infused whipped cream, yes whipped cream, with names like Cream and Whipped Lightening have been popping up on local liquor store shelves. Much like the alcoholic energy drinks that the Federal Drug Administration threatened to ban in November (the maker of the controversial Four Loko brand has agreed to remove caffeine and two other ingredients, guarana and taurine), the toppings come in flavors like raspberry, German chocolate, cherry, Amaretto, caramel and vanilla flavors, which are especially inviting to young people. Similarly these so-called “whipahols” also pack a powerful punch at 15 percent alcohol, about 30-proof. Depending on how much is consumed, some experts contend, that can be about three times the amount found in beer.
The federal government has ordered beverage companies to stop selling drinks that combine caffeine and alcohol in U.S. markets. The drinks with names like Four Loko, Joose and Moonshot, are often nicknamed ‘Cocaine in a Can’ or ‘Blackout in a Can’ by teens and young adults. USAToday.com reports the companies that produce these drinks, including Phusion Projects and United Brands, have 15 days to comply or the FDA may seize their products. The fruit flavored drinks have deceptively high alcohol content and produce what some experts call a ‘wide-awake drunk’ that police link to accidents and illnesses across the country. In Georgia, activists like the Cobb Alcohol Taskforce have been pushing for a ban. Coordinator Cathy Finck told JJIE.org, “When you mix a depressant like alcohol with a stimulant like caffeine it confuses the nervous system in the body… Binge drinking is more likely to occur with this potent mixture. One brand in particular has 12 percent alcohol in just one can.