Energy drink ban pitched after kid's skin turns yellow

Pediatricians are calling for a ban on energy drinks for children under 13 years of age.

Pediatricians are seeing more and more children with health problems caused by these drinks. Rolf Pelleboer, pediatrician and member of the advocacy committee of the Dutch Association of Pediatrics, have had children come in with hepatic impairment, stomach problems and heart problems. "With one girl we were long searching for the cause of her jaundice. It finally turned out that she drank five energy drinks per day. When she stopped, the jaundice and her fatigue disappeared."

According to Pelleboer these drinks contain all kinds of unhealthy ingredients. A can of 250 milliliter contains the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, about nine lumps of sugar and taurine. Taurine is an essential ammino acid for the build-up of proteins, but a can of energy drink contains ten times too much.

Energy drinks can be harmful, especially for children with congenital heart or liver abnormalities and diabetes. Young people of between 14 and 18 years are advised to not drink more than one energy drink per day.

From December 2014 energy drinks will have a mandatory warning with the words "not recommended for pregnant women and children". Pelleboer feels that this is not sufficient and that a ban should be set in place.