Energy drinks unfit for children: U.S. medical group

08:36, May 31, 2011      

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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warned on Monday that children should keep away from energy drinks which may be dangerous for minors.

The AAP urged young children and teens to avoid energy drinks entirely, saying routine consumption of sports drinks should be limited or eliminated.

Energy drinks include such popular brands as Red Bull, AMP and Rockstar, the AAP said in a report.

These drinks, the report said, tend to be heavily caffeinated, potentially having several times the level of caffeine found in a cup of coffee.

In addition, manufacturers often add sugar and herbal stimulants such as guarana and taurine to the drinks, which are popular among kids, according to the report.

"There's no place for energy drinks for kids," said report co-author Dr. Marcie Beth Schneider, an adolescent physician in Greenwich, Connecticut. "There's a place for sports drinks, but that place is very specific."

The caffeine in energy drinks can lead to high blood pressure, high heart rate and insomnia, she said.

The other ingredients can boost the power of the caffeine, she said, adding that the drinks will have a greater effect on children because they're smaller than adults.

"Kids don't need to have this," she said. "This is not something they should be drinking."

Schneider declined to identify any energy drinks that may be better than others for kids who insist on drinking them. If kids use energy drinks because they're tired, she said, they should get more rest instead of chugging caffeine.

Half of the nation's 5,448 reported caffeine overdoses in 2007 were in people under age 19, although it's not known how many of the cases were the result of energy drink consumption, according to statistics provided by the AAP.

Source: Xinhua

 
 
     
 
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