Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Energy Drinks - A Monster problem for our schoolchildren?

You will have seen them, every morning on our streets, children walking to school.

What you don't realise is that that walk is hiding a secret which is causing significant problems in our schools.

You see that walk for many of our children, some at primary school, are having a breakfast of energy drinks - many of which contain excessive amounts of caffeine.

It's a problem which for some time now doctors have been warning about.

Those large cans of energy drinks, such as Monster Energy, that we see our children drinking not only contain up to 270 calories a serving but also, perhaps more worringly, contain the same amount of caffeine as 14 normals cans of fizzy pop.

Doctors in America have warned that high caffeine energy drinks could be responsible for "seizures, mania, stroke and sudden death".

Our own Food Standards Agency say such drinks are "as safe as any other drinks for adults to consume in moderation".

And even the soft drinks industry are placing labels on cans stating that energy drinks are not suitable for children.

But regrettably children are drinking them and their effects are manifesting themselves in behaviour in schools across North West Leicestershire.

One local headteacher has confirmed that they believe children drinking these drinks is having a direct result in reducing concentration and increasing manic behaviour.

Indeed the same headteacher believes that it was excessive intake of these drinks that have caused at least one pupil to be suspended.

Many schools have banned children drinking energy drinks on site.

But the problem is that despite the evidence and the warnings shops are selling such drinks to children on their way to school.

Today I will be contacting council officers to ask them to investigate this growing problem and look into the possibility of a voluntary code of conduct for retailers to stop selling these drinks to our children.

I will keep you informed.


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