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oratio's avatar

Should there be an age limit on energy drinks?

Asked by oratio (8920points) October 4th, 2009

There has been a debate in my country about the effect of large consumption of energy drinks on children.

Symptoms of concentration problems and sleep deprivation has been reported. This has lead to that some large stores have imposed local age limits on the purchase of these beverages, to 15 yo. Parent groups are now hoping to persuade large chains to follow.

What’s your opinion?

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35 Answers

Girl_Powered's avatar

Yes, there should. No one under one hundred and fifty years of age would be a good starting point.

hearkat's avatar

Interesting… I taught my son about the effects of caffeine from a young age when explaining the reasons why I didn’t like him drinking soda. I limited him to caffeine-free beverages after 2:00 p.m.

Once he got to be old enough to go up to the store and buy himself things, I’d reinforce it – especially if he complained he was having a hard time sleeping. I believe it is the parents’ responsibility to monitor their children until the children are capable of handling the responsibility themselves.

Why put the additional burden on store owners? If they are under 15, the parents should be on top of where they are getting money from and how they are spending it. I am a single mother who has commuted at least an hour each way for most of my son’s life. Parenting is not an easy job and no one should undertake it unless they are fully committed to it.

TheIncomparableBenziniBrothers's avatar

Coffee is an energy drink. Should we have an age limit on that too?

asmonet's avatar

@TheIncomparableBenziniBrothers: I think so. And I’m a coffee fiend.

kheredia's avatar

First off, I don’t think children need energy drinks and if they do there’s something wrong with them. Second, my parents didn’t let me drink coffee until I was about 15 years old.

I agree with @hearkat that it should be the parents responsibility but it doesn’t always work out that way so yes, I believe there should be an age limit on energy drinks.

jrpowell's avatar

Lets see.. You pay a lot of money for a dose of something that gives you energy and makes you feel better.

That sounds familiar.

eponymoushipster's avatar

How about we check if you’re a dbag before you can buy it?

“Have you, at any time, said ‘brah’?”
“What’s the appropriate angle to wear a baseball cap at, in relation to your face?”
“Do you own a muscle shirt?”
“Abercrombie…is there any in your closet?”

you answer “yes” to any of those, that’s a no go on your redbull. those guys don’t need it.

Sarcasm's avatar

Well, caffeine is a drug after all.
Most drugs out there (in the US at least) are either completely illegal, require prescriptions or have a minimum age.

I think drinks with high caffeine content should have some age. I don’t think every soda and coffee should be prohibited, but some of those energy drinks are downright scary. People get experience arrhythmia just from drinking it.

I think 2 more things should be done for these high energy drinks:
1) Don’t bullshit around with the “4 servings”. People look at the nutritional facts and say “Oh that’s not so bad” not realizing they’re drinking 4x what the nutritional facts say.
2) Just as the Surgeon General’s Warning is on cigarettes, and just as birth defect warnings are placed around gas stations, (I’m assuming there are warnings on alcoholic beverages, but don’t know from experience) I think there should be health warnings on those cans suggesting what can happen.

arnbev959's avatar

Energy drinks are bad for you. Children shouldn’t be using them. (Adults shouldn’t either, but whether you do is up to you.)

I don’t think there needs to be an age restriction to buy them. Once that happens they become coveted; kids who normally wouldn’t have any urge to buy an energy drink will try to get their hands on them.

When I was seven or so years old I noticed a warning on a pack of gum I had that said one of the ingredients was shown to cause cancer in rats. I threw the package away. I think @Sarcasm is on to something. Warnings are good. I bet a lot of people who use energy drinks are not aware of the risks. But I don’t think their sale should be restricted.

YARNLADY's avatar

No. Responsible parents will teach their children what is appropriate, and responsible adults will observe health consequences. I am getting rather disturbed at the “Take care of me” attitude by people.

kheredia's avatar

@YARNLADY Sadly not all parents are responsible parents.. so what happens to their kids when they have nobody to teach them about these things.. do they just learn as they go?!

YARNLADY's avatar

@kheredia Until there is a requirement that all prospective parents must take competency classes, we cannot prevent mistakes from occurring. It is already against the law to beat your child, and to kill your child, yet parents kill their children every single day of the year.

Is it easier to simply place an age limit on drinks? Of course it is, but why not force parental responsibility right from the start? Band Aids do not do the job that prevention would.

aphilotus's avatar

If energy drinks are outlawed, only outlaws will be energized.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Yes. No one over the age of 30 should be allowed to buy and/or publicly consume a Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, etc.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

For once, I agree with @YARNLADY people need to start being responsible adults. If you don’t know what your kids are buying, or doing, then you aren’t doing your job as a parent. I get tired of hearing about parents that leave their kids locked in the car while they sit in a bar and get hammered. One lady, a few years ago, had her kids locked in her minivan while she was shopping in Wal-Mart, and the car caught fire and I think a couple of her little ones were burned to death. It was a sad thing, and pretty stupid on the woman’s part. My Mom dragged four kids with her wherever she went when I was growing up, and if we gave her any trouble, we got a slap across the mouth. Needless to say, we were pretty well behaved in public.

Just because you can HAVE kids, doesn’t mean that you SHOULD. People need to understand that they are responsible for their actions, including their offspring, and to stop expecting the rest of us to baby-sit their snot-nosed little brats.

I’m over thirty, and after reading what is in those energy drinks, I’ll stick to coffee. I can brew it as strong as I want, and I know exactly was goes into it.

YARNLADY's avatar

Let’s see…...there is an age limit on drinking alcohol, yet underage drinkers, there is an age limit on smoking cigarettes, yet underage smoking….it is against the law to smoke marijuana, yet many smoke…it is against the law to use, possess, make, or sell restricted drugs, yet thousands do….My question would be what’s the point?

Sarcasm's avatar

@YARNLADY, while plenty of people do things that are illegal, MANY more actually follow the law.
Hell, why don’t we ask “why is murder illegal, since homicides still occur?” or “Why are there traffic laws, people speed and run red lights every day?”

I, for example, do not drink, nor do I smoke. But if marijuana was legal, I may partake of it from time to time. Once I’m 21, you bet I’ll have an adult beverage every now and again. But my urge isn’t so great that I’d break those laws.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@YARNLADY I guess people think that if we pass a law against something, that will stop that behavior from happening. Hmm, hasn’t worked with firearms, traffic laws, alcohol consumption, etc, so why do we need one more useless law. In IL, there is no concealed carry option for law-abiding citizens, but the criminals run around with concealed guns all day long.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Sarcasm I asked a question about whether people should pick and choose which laws they follow, and most of the answers said they should. Of course, I chalk this up to most of the people who do need to justify their actions, and the majority don’t. (I hope it is so)

eponymoushipster's avatar

just get parents to start drinking them and kids will stop.

casheroo's avatar

Eh, there probably should be an age limit but I don’t foresee that happening in the US.

Girl_Powered's avatar

It has happened in some countries and it will happen in more. It is much as risk as alcohol in a health sense. Many of the drinks contain more dangerous stimulants than caffeine, Taurine for one.

augustlan's avatar

I think they should carry warnings, and perhaps some public education is in order, too. Many people see them as completely harmless. If that were addressed, perhaps an age limit wouldn’t even need to be discussed.

casheroo's avatar

@Girl_Powered The US or I guess the FDA, allows us to eat complete crap every day. I just read this article that is what people eat. They allow it. So I really don’t think energy drinks are a top priority. I mean, do they card people? Will I be carded at a store when trying to buy a red bull (not that I ever drink that stuff, but I do drink coffee)

jfishman's avatar


rooeytoo's avatar

So how does the kid prove to the shop owner she/he is 15? They don’t have a drivers license, what sort of proof would they have to carry?

And wouldn’t it be great to be behind a half dozen kids at the local 7/11 when you are in a hurry and they are all hunting in their pockets for their id.

YARNLADY's avatar

@rooeytoo Students carry identification cards they receive from their school, and at least in California, the state Department of Motor vehicles also issues ID cards to non-drivers.

whatthefluther's avatar

Maybe this is unrealistic or I’m thinking the worse case, but why do I picture a meth dealer setting up shop just outside a market or liquor store, offering discouraged energy drink rush seeking kids a stronger alternative that has no age restrictions nor requires id. I don’t know the answer to this question, but I’m having a hard time shaking that picture.
See ya….Gary/wtf

mattbrowne's avatar

Instead of a limit we should work with recommendations. Good parents teach their kids how to become self-reliant adults.

Darwin's avatar

It would make my life a bit easier, as it then would be more difficult for my son to go to a convenience store and buy one without my knowledge and permission. However, whether we set an age limit on consuming them or not, my kids are not allowed to drink them.

In general, no one in our house drinks a caffeinated beverage after lunch time. If you need it to stay awake, then you should have gone to bed earlier.

I tried a Red Bull once – it tastes nasty!

CMaz's avatar

“Should there be an age limit on energy drinks?”
Better yet a test to determine if you will be a responsible parent.

Darwin's avatar

Another thing an age-limit might do is kick “nutritionally illiterate” I heard this phrase on NPR this morning and I like it in the butts, to let them know there is something wrong with giving these to kids, and maybe to adults as well.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i vote for parents just not letting their kids drink them if they really don’t want them to.
putting an age restriction almost sounds like a marketing tool for ‘minors’ to drink them. it’s like, “hey kids! don’t drink energy drinks…or coffee…anymore! okay? * wink wink *”
and then, of course, said kids will sneak around and drink them anyway and take really pretentious pictures of them holding cans of monster and redbull and putting them up on facebook or whatever.

bubbabeartb's avatar

I think there should be an age limit on these drinks due to the fact that their is a Combo of Energy Blend in Monster that will basically make you have a heart attack. And right on the side of the Can it says Not intend for CHILDREN….. anyone under 18 is a child by Law, and we can tell our children till we are BLUE IN THE FACE not to drink these drinks and they will do it any way because they are TEENAGERS and we Parents no NOTHING in their young Minds.. Coffee is CAFFEINE, MONSTER AND RED BULL are Filled with alot more than CAFFINE… side affects from Taurine and PanaxGinseng, and the Energy Blend that is in Monster will give you heart palpitations…. kids need to be 18 or older to purchase these products, and if I can I will try my hardest to find out what I can do to make it happen to protect our YOUTH…

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