In a new report, published in the journal Pediatrics
, a large numbers of doctors have joined together to urge kids and teens to stay away from energy drinks.
Dr. Holly Benjamin of the American Academy of Pediatrics and one of the contributors to the report noted, "Children never need energy drinks. They contain caffeine and other stimulant substances that aren't nutritional, so you don't need them."
The big concern, according to Benjamin, is that kids' growing bodies may be more vulnerable to the caffeine and other ingredients in energy drinks than grown-ups. "If you drink them on a regular basis, it stresses the body," Benjamin told Reuters Health
. "You don't really want to stress the body of a person that's growing."
An even bigger concern is that kids and teens seem to be the target market for these drinks. U.S. sales of non-alcoholic energy drinks are expected to hit $9 billion this year, with children and young adults accounting for half the market.
Red Bull released a statement in response to the new report stating, "The effects of caffeine are well-known and as an 8.4 oz can of Red Bull contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee (80 mg), it should be treated accordingly."
So would you give a child a cup of coffee? Probably not. How about a teen? Maybe, but it may not be the best thing for them.
What do you think? Would you let your child or teenager drink an energy drink?