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Energy drinks may fuel hyperactivity syndrome in children

Posted:  Monday, February 16, 2015

Fruit juices and instant energy drinks are favourites of today’s children. However, a recent study found that middle-school children who consume heavily sweetened energy drinks are 66 percent more likely to be at risk for hyperactivity and inattention symptoms.

These findings back the American Academy of Paediatrics recommendation that the consumption of energy drinks and sweetened beverages should be limited in children. The study appeared in the journal Academic Paediatrics.

As part of the study, the researchers evaluated 1,649 middle-school students randomly selected from a single urban school district in Connecticut. The average age of the student participants was 12.4 years. They found that boys were more likely to consume energy drinks than girls.

Elaborating on the findings, lead researcher Jeannette Ickovics said, “As the total number of sugar-sweetened beverages increased, so too did risk for hyperactivity and inattention symptoms among our middle-school students. Importantly, it appears that energy drinks are driving this association.”

Earlier research has linked consumption of sweetened beverages and energy drinks with not just hyperactivity disorders but also with childhood obesity. Simply altering the choice of the beverages that children consume can modulate the risks for many conditions.

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