As I wrote earlier this month, lawmakers in New York's Suffolk County want to ban energy drinks for teens under the age of 19 years old. Perhaps as a result of the Four Loko hysteria of previous months, some lawmakers believe (without any reliable scientific evidence) that the contents of energy drinks are unsafe for teens and want to ban the sale of energy drinks to minors. The proposed bill, which will be discussed at the public Suffolk County hearing, is defined as:
"a soft drink that is classified as a dietary supplement not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and that contains 80 or more milligrams of caffeine per 8 fluid ounces and generally includes a combination of methylxanthines, B vitamins, herbal ingredients and other ingredients which are advertised as being specifically designed to provide or increase energy. "Pretty much the only drink that would fall under that category is five-hour energy.
According to a "nutrition expert," whatever that means, at the Cornell Cooperative Extension: "Energy drinks can cause sleeplessness and high blood pressure in teens."The hearing is open to the public and, as far as I know, there is no restriction on the age of attendees. I encourage many people to attend. Here's a little video of office colleagues discussing the various pros and cons of energy drinks.