Children who consume heavily sweetened energy drinks are 66% more likely to be at risk for hyperactivity and inattention symptoms, according to a new study.
On the average day, the 1,649 middle-school students in the study reported consuming two sugared beverages or energy drinks, which can contain up to 40 grams of sugar—even though health experts recommend that children consume a maximum of 21 to 33 grams of sugar daily.
Who was most likely to consume energy drinks?
Hispanic and black boys drank more than their study counterparts.
“As the total number of sugar-sweetened beverages increased, so too did risk for hyperactivity and inattention symptoms among our middle-school students. Importantly, it appears that energy drinks are driving this association,” said Jeannette Ickovics of the Yale School of Public Health.
In addition to hyperactivity and inattention, Ickovics said heavily sugared beverages also impact childhood obesity, which disproportionately affects Hispanic kids.
“Our results support the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that parents should limit consumption of sweetened beverages and that children should not consume any energy drinks,” she said.