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Energy Drinks Not Suitable for Under 16s

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 15/03/2016. Energy Drinks Not Suitable for Under 16sTags: Parenting

A new report conducted by Safefood has found that the sale of energy drinks has soared in recent years and that these drinks are not suitable for children under the age of 16.

The report outlined that some brands contained a startling 16 teaspoons of sugar. The report also found that the average price of an energy drink in Ireland was €1.09 however this cost ranged as low as €0.49 cent with supermarket own-brands being cheaper than branded products.

The leading brands are also supported by extensive promotional campaigns particularly on digital and social media, with many brands hosting dozens of dedicated Twitter and Facebook accounts and marketing campaigns aimed specifically at active young people with a focus on high adrenalin activities and music.

Operation Transformation’s GP, Dr Ciara Kelly, commented:

"The cheap price, easy availability, aggressive marketing and consumption of these products bluntly show how far from responsible the industry truly is and why we need to ask ourselves some hard questions when it comes to their use."

Males aged 15-24 were the highest consumers of energy drinks (64%) and over half of those who consumed energy drinks (54%) consumed them at least once a week or more frequently.

Introducing the research, Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director, Human Health & Nutrition, Safefood commented:

"In addition, the use of energy drinks as a mixer with alcohol among young adults also has consequences in the context of Ireland’s current binge–drinking culture. safefood’s position continues to be that these drinks are not recommended as a mixer for alcoholic beverages but this is now common and part of the binge drinking culture prevalent particularly amongst our 15-24 year olds.”

Dr Ciara Kelly elaborated:

“Mixing an energy drink which is a stimulant, with alcohol which is a depressant, is like driving a car with your feet on the accelerator and brake pedals at the same time; it stimulates a person so they actually end up drinking for longer as they may not be aware how drunk they really are. GP surgeries and our A&E Departments have to deal with the effects of mixing energy drinks with alcohol."

Dr Foley-Nolan continued 

Safefood reiterate that energy drinks are also not suitable for children under 16 or for re-hydration purposes following sport. Furthermore, the marketing of these products should be undertaken without any ambiguity or association with sport or alcohol. An awareness campaign of the potential health issues, targeted specifically at young people, is something that needs to happen.”

Source: Press Release; Safefood


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