The report states that caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children

The report states that caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diet of children

The American Beverage Association (ABA) has supported a US research report that advises sports and energy drinks are not consumed by children.

In a statement today (30 May), the ABA said that it agrees with the authors of the study, 'Clinical Report - Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks for Children and Adolescents: Are They Appropriate?'. The report, which will appear in the June edition of Pediatrics, states that "caffeine and other stimulant substances" contained in energy drinks "have no place in the diet of children and adolescents".

The report added that, "frequent or excessive intake of caloric sports drinks can substantially increase the risk for overweight or obesity in children and adolescents". The authors noted that parents and physicians need to know more about the distinctions between energy drinks and sports drinks (drinks, including Powerade and Gatorade, that contain electrolytes).

"We agree with the authors that sports drinks and energy drinks are very different beverage choices, and as such, should be assessed and marketed differently and to different audiences," said ABA's senior vice president of science policy, Dr Maureen Storey. "We support the American Academy of Pediatrics' position that there is a need to improve the education of children, adolescents and their parents on the differences between the two."

Storey added: "Energy drinks are non-alcoholic beverages that are specifically marketed with an energising effect and a unique combination of characterising ingredients. While their ingredients and labelling comply fully with all regulatory requirements, they are not intended for young consumers."

The ABA said its member companies have committed not to offer energy drinks for sale in K-12 schools (primary and secondary) and to offer calorie-capped sports drinks in 12oz or smaller containers to high schools only.

To view the full report, click here.