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Should schools ban energy drinks?

Should elementary schools should be allowed to sell energy drinks? Slate.com ponders that question in a new article:

"Some energy drinks are marketed as food while others are pitched as 'dietary supplements'; the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 frees manufacturers from FDA regulation. And so energy drinks and liquid water enhancers like MiO, by including vitamins, minerals, herbs, or amino acids in their ingredients, have gained admission into the libertarian paradise of dietary and nutritional supplements—even though there’s nothing nutritious about them.

Many high schools and middle schools ban energy drinks (which are not the same as sports drinks or vitamin waters) because of the caffeine content. It’s less clear whether this is a widespread practice in elementary schools, but it should be. Young kids (and their parents, and their teachers) need to know caffeine's potential health risks."

I can’t believe they were allowed to sell energy drinks to elementary school children in the first place. What other product is considered harmful for higher schoolers but perfectly fine for a 6-year old? Nowadays we’re inundated with marketing about energy drinks and how everyone needs energy to overcome that “2:30 feeling.” The truth is those things are extremely dangerous. Remember back in the 1960s when smoking was considered totally fine? Now you can’t smoke unless you’re suspended from a bungee cord off a cherry-picker 50 feet above a deserted alley. That’s how it will be with energy drinks someday. By 2045 our government will mandate we put warning labels on energy drinks, and people will watch shows on the AMC network set in the 2000s about Internet Ad Executives who drink energy drinks and sext their secretaries while their wives are at hot yoga class. And at that point we’ll think that energy drinks are incredibly cool. But sometime before that, we’ll realize they’re horrible for us.

 

Follow Tom on Twitter: @thefaketomz

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