Rising Caffeine Levels in Energy Drinks Prompts Calls for Sales Ban to Minors

    Rising Caffeine Levels in Energy Drinks Prompts Calls for Sales Ban to Minors
    Last updated Aug 31, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • Pediatricians and parents across the US are calling for new high-caffeine energy drinks to be treated like alcohol and cigarettes, and for their sale to minors to be banned.
    • This comes as the FDA is reviewing a request by US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to investigate the caffeine content in Prime Energy, as well as the product's marketing to children.
    • Compared to a 12-ounce Coca-Cola, which contains 34mg of caffeine, a can of Prime Energy reportedly contains 200mg. Although Prime Energy cans carry a warning label for those under 18, Schumer claims that the warning isn't advertised noticeably enough.
    • Caffeine levels in Prime Energy already exceed the permissible limit in countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. While rivals such as Ghost and Kimade contain similar caffeine levels, Monster Energy contains 150mg of caffeine.
    • The American Medical Association reportedly supports banning the marketing of drinks with caffeine to children under 18 and has urged the regulators to mandate "child-resistant packaging" on high-caffeine energy drinks.
    • Adults are advised not to consume more than 400mg of caffeine daily, while pediatricians recommend that minors aged 12 to 18 shouldn't consume over 100mg. Experts also advise that children under 12 should avoid caffeine altogether.


    Narrative A

    The sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to children under 18 should be banned as there's significant evidence linking them to various health issues, including obesity. Parents should also be discouraged from allowing their kids to consume these drinks at all, as they only damage young people's health.

    Narrative B

    Children consume far more caffeine from tea, coffee, and soda than from energy drinks, and there's no evidence that caffeine in energy drinks is unhealthier than caffeine in other beverages. A ban on one form of soft drink would be unscientific, discriminatory, and disproportionate.

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