Energy drinks could pose serious health risks for kids

Thursday, September 5th, 2013 By

Energy Drink

A new report says energy drinks can pose health risks to kids because of the amount of caffeine the beverages contain. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A recently published report says energy drinks could pose some serious risks for children. The report, appearing in medical journal Pediatrics, says the amount of caffeine in energy drinks may be dangerous for teens, along with other ingredients. The study suggests regulation to curb the risks.

Ingredients such as caffeine may be dangerous for teens

A recent study has concluded that energy drinks contain levels of caffeine that may be dangerous for children and teens, and other ingredients included as “energy boosters,” such as taurine and guarana, could pose risks as well, according to MSNBC. The report, titled “Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults” is being published in Pediatrics, a pediatric medicine journal. The report says consuming energy drinks poses a risk to children and teens because of the amount of stimulants. The amount of caffeine contained in energy drinks could lead to heart palpitations, stroke, seizure and death in some cases. The caffeine content of alcoholic energy drinks such as Four Loko, is said to pose risks to young people as well.

American energy drinks go unregulated

The report, which is available for free from Pediatrics in PDF format, says the drinks often contain more caffeine than labels disclose. Most already contain 70 to 80 milligrams of caffeine per each 8-ounce serving, which is nearly three times the amount of caffeine in a can of cola. Energy drinks also contain other ingredients, such as taurine and guarana. Guarana is a vine that produces a bean, like coffee, except guarana has three times the caffeine as coffee, according to ABC. Caffeine is a stimulant, which affects numerous bodily functions.

Possible side effects

The report highlights that poison control centers in the U.S. do not track possible energy drink overdoses. However, health care officials in Germany and New Zealand have linked energy drink overdoses to mild symptoms like nausea, vomiting and irritability and to serious side effects such as liver damage, respiratory distress, kidney failure, heart trouble and even sudden death. The American Association of Poison Control Centers started tracking health problems associated with energy drink consumption in 2010, noting 677 cases of energy drink overdose from October to December 2010. The AAPCCC also noted 331 cases since the beginning of 2011.




Pediatrics (PDF – Requires Adobe Reader)

Previous Article

« Zeus malware used by Avalanche gang in IRS phishing scam

Avalanche gang uses Zeus malware to steal personal information and money with its latest IRS phishing scam, which sends out bogus e-mails... Malware screen shot.
Next Article

Paycheck Fairness Act an empty gesture to struggling middle class »

Wages have been in stagnation and decline since the 1970s, something the blocked Paycheck Fairness Act would have done nothing about... Paycheck Fairness act wouldn't fix this

Other recent posts by Sam Hoober

Consumers advised to avoid credit card protection plans

Credit card debt protection plans are great for credit card companies but end up being not very beneficial for people who enroll in them.
Credit Card

Plunging interest rates make mortgages low cost loans for now

Those who can qualify for financing could make a killing in the current real estate market. Low interest rates make mortgages low cost loans.

Debt relief companies now subject to tougher regulation

Debt relief is getting a lot of advertising these days. Though tougher regulation is in place, there are still a lot of scams out there...