Energy Drinks Health Concerns: Dangerous for Children?
Ever wonder whether those energy drinks that everyone seems to be guzzling are safe or healthy? What about when it comes to children?
According to a new commentary published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, parents should be concerned about potential harms associated with energy drinks. That's because energy drinks and health concerns seem to go together like peanut butter and sticky fingers. The authors say that energy drinks are especially popular among adolescent males, the Washington Post reports.
The authors also say that energy drinks, which are often mixed with alcohol, can lead to binge drinking and can cause people to believe that they are less drunk than they actually are. The authors even went so far as to say that energy drinks might contribute to alcohol dependency.
The article also warned that due to the high level of caffeine, pregnant women and teenagers in particular should be wary of the drinks. Too much caffeine can interfere with pregnancy, leading to complications such as premature birth, miscarriage and stillbirth. Teenagers also risk high blood pressure, anxiety and trouble sleeping. Not to mention that the non-diet drinks are full of sugar, which can also lead to obesity.
So just how much caffeine is allowed in these drinks anyway? You might be surprised to learn that the FDA hasn't even set a limit, despite the fact that such limits exist for soda, the Washington Post reports.
In the end, the message regarding energy drinks and health concerns here isn't "freak out and throw away all energy drinks and make them illegal." Such reactionary quotes often make for a popular message, but it doesn't do much to really help anyone. In truth, the better message is, keep an eye on what you're putting into your body, and practice moderation.
- Energy drinks can be dangerous for teens, report says (MSNBC)
- FDA Press Release on Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks (FDA)
- Young Adults Encountering Underage Drinking at Parties (FindLaw)
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