Should the U.S. Card for Energy Drinks? The U.K. Starts Next Month!

Starting in March 2018 several retailers and chain supermarkets will be carding people to ensure anyone purchasing energy drinks, with a minimum of 150 mg of caffeine per liter, are 16 years old or older.

This currently isn’t something we practice here in the United States, but with this unraveling of a new rule we’ll be able to witness from afar how this will impact their economy and the public in general.

The decision was made for a few reasons; the drinks themselves advertise that they aren’t intended for children, pregnant, or breast-feeding women, increase erratic & disruptive behavior, full of artificial sweeteners, and are addictive. There is no reason why any human being needs this high amount of caffeine to function properly, and they don’t serve healthy benefits for any individual of any age.

CAFFEINE energy drink side effects 2

High caffeine intake can have adverse affects on children’s ability to sleep, grow, concentrate, logically process thoughts, and be mindful of their emotional states.

The U.K. doesn’t have a national law in place, but many supermarkets in the U.K. have decided that it’s a social responsibility to ensure that these highly-caffeinated drinks be restricted from children.

The very popular Jaimie Oliver has been a huge supporter in the movement to restrict access to energy drinks and even started the hashtag #NotForKids to promote this casue.

CAFFEINE energy drink side effects 1

The FDA, in December 2012 which ended in 2006, ran their own investigation into the caffeine consumption within the United States to see how its impacting our youth and overall population. Their research concluded that most caffeine in the United States is consumed by those between the ages of 40 and 59, and men drank more caffeine than women. They also were able to see that females in the 30-39 year age range was double that of the 20-29 age female groups. Another piece of fairly good news is that the majority of the caffeine being consumed in the United States is from coffee and not energy drinks.

While the FDA’s caffeine study didn’t show a large impact on caffeine consumption by those under the age of 16, CNN reported that 40% of the 5,156 calls made to poison control centers were related to “energy drink exposure” which involved kids under age 6. In many cases the parent didn’t know the children got ahold of the energy drinks and the kids were experiencing side effects like seizures, abnormal heart rhythm, and others.

CAFFEINE energy drink side effects

Dr. Lipshults, a Pediatrics Professor at Wayne State University, believes that the consumption is much higher than the FDA or Poision Control Centers have due to parents and individuals withholding this information.

Do you think caffeine consumption by children is an issue in the United States? Leave a comment below and let me know what your thoughts are!


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