The topic of energy drinks and their effects on the health of children has been widely discussed and studied in different contexts throughout the past decade.
While some recognize these energizing beverages to be downright threatening to the health of young ones, many others consider the disadvantages under different lights.
A good number of pediatricians in Dubai side with the Canadian study on the matter. Held at the University of Waterloo and directed by Professor David Hammond, the study was conducted on a pool of teenagers and youngsters between the ages of 12 and 24, on a total 2055 people. It talks about the harmful effects of caffeine and other ingredients present in many energy drinks. The consequences could range from headaches, palpitations and rapid heart rate to seizures in a few rare cases.
As per some pediatricians in Dubai, 100 ml of most energy drinks have around 80mg of caffeine. The sugar level in these drinks is also very high and, they are easily accessible to most children and young teenagers.
Between 2010 and 2013, over five thousand complaints were registered with the US Poison Control centers for people who had fallen sick reportedly because of energy drinks. High blood pressure, seizures, and irregular heart rate were the most commonly reported side effects.
Despite the seemingly appalling caffeine and sugar content in these drinks, there is no explicit warning on the packaging which may warn parents or guardians to keep them away from the reach of young children. In any case energy drinks aren’t appropriate for children. Caffeine is addictive in kids, and when combined with sugar and extra calories, it can lead to weight gain, withdrawal, dental erosion, etc. in children.