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High Energy Drinks And The Under 16's


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Guys, I would be grateful if you could all take a little bit of time out to help me to help a colleague.

Dear Ray

Thank you so much for your support - I really do appreciate it. I may have waffled on a bit.

Background info is.

I am campaigning about High Energy Drinks that are being sold to children although they are not recommended to under 16 year olds and the affects these drinks can have on children and adults eg. heart palpitations, anxiety, panic attacks, aggression, behavioural changes, moods, addiction, hallucinations, diabeties (due to the sugar content) and in severe cases sudden death syndrome.

The majority of adults and children are not aqware of the harmful side effects these drinks (eg Red Bull, Monster, Boost) can cause. These drinks contain affeine or caffeine derivitives, taurine or glucuronolactone in them. Basically the Caffeine is a stimulant and makes the heart beat faster, the Taurine thickens the blood. Therefore the heart can be put under stress should not be taken with exercising or alcohol. There have been cases where young people have died eg.

Shaun Biggs, 21 years old, Life Guard was addicted to Red Bull, he died as a result of his heart going into arythmic shock and the autopsy showed a high level of caffeine in his blood.

Ross Cooney, 18 years old, Student collapsed and died during a basketball match in Dublin. He had shared 3 cans of Redbull for the game.

There is also the issue that I see many children buying and drinking High Energy Drinks on the way to school and am concerned about their health and behaviour in school when the effects wear off. Although these drinks have a warning "not suitable for under 16 year olds", the British Soft Drinks Association and major supermarkets have responded to my letters in the same manner "We believe that the primary responsibility for a child's purchases must rest with their parent or guardian and customers must exercise their own judgement over what they choose to buy in our shops". This is difficult as most secondary school children in urban areas make their own way to school!

Most people are unaware if they have a heart condition or that if they are on some medication that the risks are greater. A child has ADHD and takes Ritalin, they put themselves at a greater risk of Sudden Death Syndrome if they drink these types of drinks.

I currently have an on line petition to get these drinks licenced so that they cannot be sold to under 18 year olds as this is a more sensible approach, rather than trying to get them banned and I am also working on promoting this to educate children and hopefully adults. I would be very grateful if you could sign the petition and pass the link onto your family/friends and colleagues.

On top of the online petition I managed to get my local MP Rob Wilson on board to speak on the issues of High Energy Drinks in Parliament which secured the commission of a report from the EFSA on the consumption of these drinks. The speech is incredibly informative and if you scroll through to 07:03:52 you will hear it.

I appreciate that there are other so called health/fitness/performance products out on the market that can also be damaging but the problem with these drinks are that they are trendy/fashionable to the youth who do not know or care of the risks and neither do their parents, but we have to start somewhere and at least increase the awareness of the dangers. There have been many articles about these drinks but it seems as if some people have turned a blind eye or are not aware that their kids are drinking these.



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I agree totally Ray, if something says 'not suitable' and that is backed up by medical proof then there should be a law stopping them selling it to those under age and penalties to suit (like they do with cigarettes etc) & have signed the petition :)

I think a big part of the problem is that kids/parents don't necessarily know the effects that these types of 'energy' drinks can have or if they do it's a minor problem and they just see it as a quick & easy boost but question is: would you give your child an espresso coffee ? somehow I don't think so :rolleyes:

I'd guess action will only happen if the studies in the US find legitimate reasons to regulate and then possibly the UK will follow, but seeing as there are some seriously big companies producing the drinks I can't see it happening ;) although (according to Wiki) in Russia the sale of energy drinks is banned, Australia & New Zealand have restrictions in place on the amounts of caffeine they can contain & Latvia has changed the law to stop the sale of them to under 18's. France & Norway did have the sale of Red Bull blocked but it was lifted after appeal, so you never know :)

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The most concerning thing about these drinks is the high sugar content. I used to drink about two or three cans of lucozade at work, until I noticed the sugar content and instantly stopped. I think it was equal to half a bag of sugar per can.


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Just signed.

Interestingly I've just been reading about how the high sugar content of these drinks, including Coca Cola etc produces more insulin than the body needs, and insulin in high quantities feeds cancer cells. Also the artificial sweetners cause the brain to tell the body that it's not had enough food (even when you're full) and this causes obesity. A 9 year study in the Sates showed people drinking "diet" drinks put on 70% more belly bulk due to the confusing message to the brain.

I've just finished working with a young guy who's still at college and has an energy shot every morning. No one would need it if they had a decent balanced diet.

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Totally agree with this.

I know I can't touch monster or red bull as it just makes me soooo angry! I get really violent mood swings when I drink that stuff and I'm 33 so imagine what it does to a young teenager! I'm also not sensitive to caffeine, I drink 4-5 cups of strong coffee a day and am fine on that but just 1 can of this stuff and I want to fight the world!! Lol...

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