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"Energy Drinks" May Pose Health Risks: Wisconsin Pediatricians Urge Caution

The Wisconsin Chapter of the American of Pediatrics (WIAAP), in response to the results of a recent study, expresses its concern over increasing consumption of so-called "energy drinks" by adolescents. Lack of evidence that these products offer any health benefits and in fact may pose serious risks to children with pre-existing conditions illustrates the need for parents and caregivers to monitor their use.

Kimberly, WI, March 08, 2011 --( The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WIAAP) urges parents and adolescents to understand the risks of over-consumption of energy drinks. A new study has determined that energy drinks have no therapeutic benefit to children and that using these drinks could put some children at risk, especially those with diabetes, seizures, cardiac abnormalities or mood and behavior disorders.

Sarah Lerand, MD, FAAP is the chapter’s adolescent health chair. “We know that 30 to 50 percent of youth consume energy drinks,” Lerand said. “What we don’t know is how much is too much for youth when it comes to the potentially toxic ingredients in these products.” Typically, energy drinks contain high levels of stimulants such as taurine and guarana, and unregulated levels of caffeine. Safe consumption levels have not been established for most adolescents.

Energy drinks are frequently marketed to athletes and at-risk young adults. “Unfortunately we see frequent abuse not only in the quantity of stimulants adolescents are drinking but also in the combining of these drinks with alcohol,” added Lerand. Energy drink overdose can result in seizures, stroke and even sudden death.

The study, “Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults,” appears in the March issue of Pediatrics.

Comprised of over 900 members and a part of the American Academy of Pediatrics (“AAP”), WIAAP works to assure optimal health and safety for Wisconsin’s children and their families through advocacy and collaboration with child interest groups. WIAAP supports Wisconsin pediatricians, enabling them to continue to be the most effective providers of health care to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics is committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Contact Information
Wisconsin Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Kia LaBracke
563 Carter Court
Kimberly, WI 54136

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