We’ve all been there– needing to stay awake, but our body refusing to cooperate. We hear they are bad for us, but sometimes we reach for energy drinks like Redbull, Monster, and Rockstar to help us out. Or maybe we drink them just because we like the boost it gives us, or we simply like the taste. Whatever the reason, energy drinks are a billion dollar industry and their popularity keeps growing despite health concerns. We are warned they are particularly dangerous for children and teens– and there’s even been reports of deaths linked to energy drink consumption.
In fact, in 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics, an organization of 60,000 pediatricians recommended kids and teens should never drink energy drinks. In 2013, the American Medical Association got involved and called for a ban in advertising energy drinks to people under 18. And some people want to take this further and actually ban the sale of energy drinks to minors. In fact, Lithuania was the first country to enact such a ban. In response to these health concerns, the American Beverage Association, the trade group that represents many of the energy drink brands, have created their own guidelines around marketing and labelling of the drinks. For example they do not market these drinks to children under 12 and they don’t sell them in K-12 schools.
The American Beverage Association developed voluntary guidelines to label energy drinks for their age appropriateness. Is this enough? Should there be stricter regulations for these beverages?
REPORT: The Buzz on Energy Drinks (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
GUIDELINES: ABA Guidance for the Responsible Labeling and Marketing of Energy Drink (The American Beverage Association)
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