Children and young people are extremely susceptible to advertising and peer pressure. The manufacturers of different energy drinks are aware of that and paid serious amounts of money for clever marketing campaigns. Their target is young people and children who practice a sport, those who feel tired in the morning due to the after-effects of a big night out, those who have an exam and have to stay focus and learn and there’s always that promise that they’ll ‘give you wings’. Thus, most young people believe what they see on an advertising spot but unfortunately, they don’t read the ingredients list on a bottle or can before they buy it. But the question is ‘Are energy drinks bad for our children?‘
The answer is a big ‘YES!‘.
Firstly, a new study – “Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents and Young Adults” – published online in the journal Pediatrics says that energy drinks pose a great risk for serious adverse health effects in some children, especially those with diabetes, seizures, cardiac abnormalities, or mood and behavior disorders. The study, which gathers the new findings from pediatric researchers at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine, mentions that 30-50% of adolescents report consuming these energy drinks that have no therapeutic benefit for them. In fact, they contain known and unknown ingredients reported for their toxicity. It seems that these drinks contain high levels of stimulants such as caffeine, taurine, and guarana, and safe consumption levels have not been established for most adolescents.
“We wanted to raise awareness about the risks. Our systematic review suggests that these drinks have no benefit and should not be a part of the diet of children and teens. We need long-term research to define maximum safe doses of these beverages and the effects of chronic use, especially in at-risk populations,” said Steven Lipshultz, Professor and Chair of Pediatrics, Associate Executive Dean for Child Health, and author of the study.
Secondly, another recent study draws a warning: energy drinks should carry health warning labels because of the high caffeine content! Conducted by John Hopkins University, the researchers tested 28 different energy drinks on the market and they concluded that energy drinks contained as much as 14 times more caffeine than the average can of cola, which is the same as drinking seven cups of coffee. Even an adult would feel sick after drinking seven cups of coffee over the course of a day. So, would you let your children to drink so much coffee? No, but you did let them drink an energy drink, right?
Well, things have to change because if our child or adolescent is drinking the equivalent of seven cups in one go, we should be alarmed. Many schools across the U.S. have already realized the potentially harmful consequences of these drinks and have now banned them, explaining their decision by citing bad behavior and an inability to concentrate after consuming the drinks. But the battle against these drinks should not stop here. Energy drinks ARE BAD for your children so it’s up to you, as a parent, to educate your child not to consume energy drinks.