Energy Drinks Make Middle Schoolers Hyper & Distracted


Back in 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement that kids and adolescents shouldn’t consume energy drinks. They cited potential health risks from stimulants as the reason. To see whether this statement still held true, theYale School of Public Health led a study about the effects of energy drinks on middle schoolers from an urban school district in Connecticut.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,600 middle school students (with an average age of 12.4). Here’s what they found: students are 66 percent more likely to be hyperactive and inattentive when they consume sugary energy drinks.

Professor Jeannette Ickovics, who led the ressearch team, explains:

Our results support the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that parents should limit consumption of sweetened beverages and that children should not consume any energy drinks.

Besides preventing the pre-teens from paying attention, there’s another major reason these aren’t the best beverage. Science Daily reports that some energy drinks contain up to 40 grams of sugar, which is more than the maximum amount of sugar recommended for kids (21-33 grams, depending on age).

As for why so much sugar is a bad thing? Look no further than Choices’ “Sugar Shocker” story from September. Not only do sugary beverages impact obesity, but they can also damage the liver.

For tips about how a teen can tame that sweet tooth, check out the chart below!

Screen Shot 2015 02 10 at 3.49.15 PM Energy Drinks Make Middle Schoolers Hyper & Distracted

(From the September 2014 issue of Choices)

To learn more about this topic, check out “Energy-Drink Alert” and “Teen Caffeine.” Choices is a teen health, well-being, and life skills magazine published by Scholastic.