A new report issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) scrutinized the onslaught of energy drinks that are flooding the U.S. market. In the June issue ofPediatrics, healthcare professionals acknowledge and warn of the risks associated with energy drinks. In particular, children and adolescents may be exposed to highly concentrated amounts of harmful substances.
The new clinical report outlines how energy drinks are being misused, discusses their ingredients, and provides guidance to decrease or eliminate consumption by children and adolescents.
According to the report, “energy drinks contain substances not found in sports drinks that act as stimulants, such as caffeine, guarana and taurine. Caffeine – by far the most popular stimulant – has been linked to a number of harmful health effects in children, including effects on the developing neurological and cardiovascular systems.”
Researchers involved in the AAP study attribute the elevated risk of complications to the ambiguity of drink labels. Many children remain confused on the differences between energy and sport drinks. Marcie Beth Schneider, a member of the AAP Committee on Nutrition and the report’s co-author said “some kids are drinking energy drinks – containing large amounts of caffeine – when their goal is simply to rehydrate after exercise. This means they are ingesting large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants, which can be dangerous.” She then proceeds to divulge the risks associated with energy drinks by stating that it is “hard to tell how much caffeine is in a product by looking at the label. Some cans or bottles of energy drinks can have more than 500 mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of 14 cans of soda.” This is a dangerous amount, considering many healthcare providers think caffeine-containing beverages, including soda, should be avoided all together.
According to data from a different Pediatrics study, energy drinks are consumed by an estimated 30% to 50% of adolescents and young adults. Frequently containing high and unregulated amounts of caffeine, these drinks have been reported in association with serious adverse effects, especially in children, adolescents, and young adults with seizures, diabetes, cardiac abnormalities, or mood and behavioral disorders or those who take certain medications. According to researchers, of the 5448 US caffeine overdoses reported in 2007, 46% occurred in those younger than 19 years. As a result several countries and states have debated or restricted their sales and advertising.
The ingredients found within energy drinks may also lead to severe tooth decay, a condition considered by the healthcare community as an infectious disease. If left untreated, a child may experience extreme pain and suffering. The report emphasizes “that early childhood caries is an infectious disease, knowing that infectious diseases are problems in which pediatricians and primary care providers are experts. The skills of our dental colleagues are highly valued, but we hope to shift the focus of treatment for early childhood caries to primary care providers and preventive measures such as topical fluoride varnishes.”
Do I Have an Energy Drink Lawsuit?
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If you or a loved one has been injured after ingesting energy drinks, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation and / or refund by participating in an energy drink lawsuit and we can help.