“Sports Drinks” for 4 year olds

Jack sent me a link to this article (LI: accidental PW: hedonist), and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it. Here you have several products which, if you go to their website, clearly state “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”, that are being marketed directly for children.

Advocare has products called Spark which contains several stimulants, including caffeeine. It is sold in two formulations: one for children 4 to 11 years old that includes roughly the amount of caffeine found in a cup and a half of coffee, and one containing twice that amount for teenagers and adults.

I’ll let this sink in. We have a company marketing an untested high-caffeine product to four year olds under the guise of providing Nutritional suplements for overall good health. In fact, there are promotional materials that suggest making Spark popsicles and gelatin jigglers.

For the record, there are few if any large, reliable studies looking at the effects of caffeine on children. But as the NY Times notes “The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages caffeine consumption by children. Canadian health authorities in 2003 recommended limiting daily intake of caffeine by children to 2.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or roughly 45 milligrams for a typical 4- to 6-year-old. The recommendation was based on caffeine’s adverse behavioral effects on adults.”

And people wonder why I’m cynical when it comes to certain food companies. The primary concern out of several I have, is that there are adults out there using these “supplements” as a substitute for regular exercise.


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