Energy drinks, many of which contain too much caffeine, may be harmful to children, according to a new study published on Monday.
The finding was based on a review of the literature on energy drinks, researchers at the University of Miami said in the study appearing in the journal Pediatrics.
Many of the energy drinks reviewed contain three times the caffeine of a cola and some of which have five times more, said the study.
The study showed that caffeine in the drinks can exacerbate cardiac conditions, especially in children with eating disorders, and interfere with calcium absorption and bone mineralization in young adolescents.
Energy drinks produce extra calories which can contribute to diabetes, high body mass index and dental problems, according to the study.
Also, energy drinks contain additional ingredients which may boost caffeine levels, said the study.
The study also found that many children and young adults in the United States have tried energy drinks, and some consume them heavily.
A survey of college students reported that 51 percent regularly consumed one or more of the drinks per month, and a majority of those students drank them several times a week.
Insufficient sleep and a desire for more energy were cited as reasons for such consumption, said the study.
The drinks are unregulated in the United States, and the number of overdoses of caffeine from drinking them remains unknown, the study said.
But in Germany, Ireland and New Zealand, officials have reported cases of liver damage, kidney failure, seizures, confusion and arrhythmias associated with energy drink use, according to the study.
It is possible that adding a large tax on sugary drinks might help the people of the United States to lose weight.
A study that was recently published has determined that it would help American lose weight should the tax was large enough.
However, even then the benefits would primarily be accrued by the middle class and be modest at best.
If the United Stated added a 40% tax to the price of sugary drinks such as sports drinks and sodas that were purchased in a retail store, it would reduce approximately 12 calories from the daily intake of beverages for the average person in the United States. This would translate into a person losing approximately 1 1/4 pounds.
Without doing all of the calculations, it turns out that a 20 % tax wouldn’t work as well as a 40% tax for discouraging the drinking of sugary drinks. Also, should the tax cover more kinds of sugary drinks, the reduction in caloric intake would be somewhat increased which would reduce the options for a substitution of a lower tax.
However, if such a tax could become politically palatable, the benefits from such a tax wouldn’t be advantageous for everybody. The study also determined that increasing the taxes on sugary drinks wouldn’t reduce the weight of the poorest of the wealthiest people in the United States significantly.
The idea of taxing junk food and sugary beverages is gaining some support in some political circles. However, it might be impossible to get public support for such taxes. Recently, a survey was conducted in which people in the United States were ask for their opinion a tax increase directed at sugary drinks.
Over 3,000 people or 51% if the people surveyed either opposed or strongly opposed such tax increases. Only about 1/3 of those surveyed were in favor of a tax increase.
However, there is the deficit to consider and one factor might be how much money the increased taxes might raise. It has been estimated that a tax of 40% on a variety of sugary drinks might gather over $2,500,000,000.
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