Minimum Age Requirement To Purchase Energy Drinks?

We all know that chugging down can after can of Monster, Red Bull, or Rock Star ain't exactly healthy, yet some of us chug down multiple doses of energy drinks every day.

An adult endangering his or her health is one thing, but how about a kid? Energy drinks have become a very popular drink among teenagers and Long Island feels it is time to intervene.

Nassau and Suffolk counties are proposing a minimum age requirement for purchase of energy drinks. Not surprisingly, the beverage industry is opposed.

According to CBS New York, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association said the drinks are safe -- containing approximately half the caffeine of a cup of coffee of similar size. But how many teenagers drink multiple 24 ounce cups of straight coffee daily?

Anais Fournier, 14, died last year of "cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity" after drinking two cans of Monster. Between 2004 and 2012, the FDA received reports of five deaths about people who had drank Monster prior to their deaths, and one nonfatal heart attack.

Caffeine isn't the only monster here though. Most energy drinks contain other harmful ingredients, such as sugar, guarana, and yohimbine. Don't be fooled by the phrase 'natural ingredients' - natural ingredients can cause nausea, anxiety, high blood pressure, insomnia, and other unpleasant side effects, not to mention death.

Although the FDA caps the amount of caffeine in soda to 0.02%, no limit has been imposed on energy drinks. Perhaps due Fournier's death, the FDA finally launched an investigation to ascertain the safety of such drinks.

Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General for the State of New York has issued subpoenas to energy drink makers as part of an ongoing investigation into the energy drink industry and Senators Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have requested that the FDA further investigate the effects that caffeine and other energy drink ingredients have on children and teenagers.

At the very least, the issue requires investigation. In the meantime, I think Long Island has the right idea.

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