CHICAGO (AP/CBS4) – A new report says energy drinks are under-studied, overused and can be dangerous for children and teens.
Doctors writing in the medical journal Pediatrics say the dangers include heart palpitations, seizures, strokes and even sudden death.
The ill effects are caused mostly by too much caffeine or similar ingredients. Some cans have four to five times more caffeine than soda.
The authors want pediatricians to routinely ask patients and their parents about energy drink use and to advise against drinking them.
“So in essence your kid sucks some of these drinks down and winds up overdosing on stimulants, which make the heart and the brain freak out,” CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida said. “Here’s my advice — this is a talk you should be having with your kid.”
The report says energy drinks often contain ingredients that can enhance the jittery effects of caffeine or that can have other side effects including nausea and diarrhea. It says they should be regulated as stringently as tobacco, alcohol and prescription medicines.
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