London: Soaring numbers of of teenage girls are suffering iron deficiency because they consume too many energy drinks, experts have warned.  The Health Food Manufacturers’ Association has (HFMA) warned that caffeine can inhibit the body’s uptake of minerals, including iron.  Iron deficiency is Britain’s most common nutritional disorder and recent research has shown that around 40 per cent of girls and young women aged 11 to 24 have lower than expected intake. Deficiency affects up to 18 per cent of women due to blood loss through menstruation. Other studies have indicated that one in 10 British teenagers consume as many of five cans of caffeinated energy drinks every week, the HFMA said. A survey of 10,000 British adults conducted by the Association found that three-quarters of 18 to 24- year-olds do not know that caffeine can restrict a person’s intake of these vital minerals.–DM