Magazine article University Business

Energy Drinks: Ban the Can?

Magazine article University Business

Energy Drinks: Ban the Can?

Article excerpt

Vermont's Middlebury College recently made headlines when officials announced a ban on the sale of energy drinks on campus. Citing that beverages such as Red Bull, Monster and 5-Hour Energy have been linked to heart, liver and neurological issues, the school has stopped selling those products to students, although it still permits them to be consumed on campus.

School officials also suggested that energy drinks, which are often mixed with alcohol, have been involved in incidents of binge drinking, "high-risk sexual activity" and other unsafe behaviors.

The Federal Drug Administration currently does not have sales restrictions on energy drinks; in fact, beverage manufacturers are not even required to list caffeine amounts.

In 2012, the University of New Hampshire announced an intended ban on energy drinks, only to rescind it a few days later. No other university currently bans the sale of energy drinks, according to the National Association of College and University Food Services.

"Banning energy drinks feels like somewhat of an overreach," says Mary Cluskey, associate professor of nutrition at the University of Oregon and a registered dietician who studies college student food choices. "Where do you stop? Do you ban coffee, too?"

Caffeine is one of the most studied food substances and has been found to have minimal health dangers in moderate consumption, Cluskey notes. …

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