Disturbing Link Found Between Energy Drinks and Children: Don’t Let Kids Touch These

Disturbing Link Found Between Energy Drinks and Children: Don’t Let Kids Touch These

Energy drinks, despite their popularity, don’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to either taste or side effects, but a recent study seems to indicate their side effects might be more severe than we thought.

Or at least, more severe for the children who consume them.

According to Fox News, new research published in the journal Public Health suggests that regular consumption of energy drinks among children could lead to damaging mental health side effects, possibly increasing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts among youngsters.

The scientists behind the study, researchers from Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health at Teesside University and Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, based their conclusions on a “systematic review of 57 previous studies covering 1.2 million children in 21 countries,” according to Medical News Today.

Updating a previous study from 2016, the researchers found “strong positive correlation between drinking energy drinks and smoking, alcohol use, binge drinking, and other substance use,” as well as a “[link] to poor sleep quality and short sleep duration, as well as lower academic performance compared to non-energy drinkers.”

In the words of lead researcher Amelia Lake, “This evidence suggests that energy drinks have no place in the diets of children and young people. Policymakers should follow the example from countries that have placed age restrictions on their sales to children,” Fox reported.

Other dietitians and nutritionists concurred with the conclusions of Lake and her team, with many noting they’ve observed similar side effects in their own clients and patients.

Dietician Cesar Sauza told Medical News Today, “I have seen energy drinks affect children negatively with their academic performance, likely due to altered sleep. Another reason the findings are not surprising is that most energy drinks are high in sugar and caffeine, both of which have negative effects on children when over-consumed.”

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Likewise, dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade told Fox that “even small amounts of caffeine can impact quality and quantity of sleep, and poor sleep is directly correlated with a decline in both mental and physical health — in adults as well as children.”

The caffeine in energy drinks is also far more potent than the caffeine found the average cup of coffee or tea, which contain 90 mg and 50 mg of caffeine respectively, whereas, the average energy drink contains anywhere from 50-500 mg of caffeine per serving (never mind the crazy amounts of sugar stuffed into a given can).

Now, the study has limitations, and the American Beverage Association has chimed in, claiming, “Energy drinks have been enjoyed by billions of people around the world for more than 30 years and are recognized by government food safety agencies worldwide, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada and the European Food Safety Authority, as safe for consumption.”

Of course, doctors used to advertise smoking, and you find any number of vintage advertisements proclaiming the glories and health benefits of anything from lead paint to spoonfuls of sugar to lose weight, but the beverage association is correct in pointing out that the study did not find that “energy drinks cause sleep problems or any health issues — and that the authors acknowledge there may be other reasons for their findings.”

Fair enough, but, the study’s findings are suggestive regarding the negative health effects of energy drinks all the same.

Perhaps there’s little truth behind the old wives’ tale that caffeine will stunt your growth if you drink it too young, but any adults with their eyes open know the foolishness of giving their children too much in the way of caffeine or sugar.

And plenty of energy drinks have enough sugar and caffeine to make a Starbucks latte look like a cup of herbal tea.

It should be self-evident that giving children massive amounts of stimulants is a bad idea.

Now, should the sale of these drinks be banned for children, as these experts suggest?

Hard to say, as part of living in a free country entails the responsibility for decisions regarding health and well-being belonging to the people.

However, this still requires responsibility and careful thought.

Remember, true freedom is not being able to do whatever you want; it’s the ability to choose the good, whether morally or, in this case, nutritionally.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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