Energy Drinks Are a No-No for Kids and TeensJun-02-2011
The American Academy of Pediatrics, a group of some 57,000 pediatricians, published a report Sunday in "Pediatrics" denouncing the use of any energy drinks by kids and teens and suggesting only limited use of sports drinks.
This report by the AAP closely follows the overview of clinical data available to date about energy drinks by a group of four professionals, including three physicians. The conclusions of the overview were published in the March 1 edition of "Pediatrics."
The March report stated in its conclusion that energy drinks were found to have no therapeutic benefits and many of the ingredients contained in them are not regulated nor have they been adequately studied. The long term effects of the consumption of energy drinks were suggested by the study panel. The panel also reported that the possibility of serious adverse effects and toxicity from the caffeine and other ingredients in energy drinks raises additional concerns.
Energy drinks are the fastest growing beverage industry in the United States, promising to aid in weight loss, athletic performance, and improvement in energy and stamina. Sales of the drinks are expected to reach $9 billion this year alone. Currently, half of the consumers of energy drinks are kids to young adults aged 25 years and younger.
The May report from the AAP explains the difference between sports drinks and energy drinks: Sports drinks are intended to replace fluid, electrolytes and minerals lost during vigorous exercise; energy drinks contain caffeine, taurine and other ingredients and are intended to boost energy, stamina, weight loss and increase athletic performance or endurance.
While the AAP concedes that young adults who participate in extended periods of vigorous exercise may benefit from the use of sports drinks, it advises that water is the only fluid needed for children and teens after physical activity. An additional concern is that young consumers may mistakenly believe that energy and sports drinks are interchangeable, meaning after exercise they may be drinking energy drinks rather than sports drinks.
As reported by Health Day, the AAP writers are concerned about the possible side effects of the energy drinks on young people, including high blood pressure, insomnia and increased heart rate -- health issues that should not be a normal concern for these age groups.
Baby boomers and parents and grandparents of all ages should be alert to what their children and grandchildren are consuming. A firm but matter-of-fact discussion with kids, teens and young adults about nutrition and health should include a discussion about the concerns associated with energy and sports drinks.
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Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM
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