High caffeine energy 'shots' harmful for youngsters

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Wellington, June 3 (ANI): Energy 'shots' and drinks containing high levels of caffeine are unsuitable for youngsters, especially teenagers, pregnant women and people sensitive to caffeine, food safety officials say.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) warned that when consumed in high doses, caffeine could lead to irritability, anxiety, tremors, dizziness and insomnia and some people may experience short-term anxiety effects if consuming more than 3mg of caffeine daily for each kilogram of body weight.

This means that an adult should not drink more than two standard cups a day and for most healthy adults, up to 400mg of caffeine in total a day.owever, there were no studies for chronic effects of caffeine consumption by children.

Lack of awareness is also a reason for the health effects of frequent high caffeine intakes for children and adults. Baseline intakes calculated from dietary surveys show that 73 percent of children consumed caffeine through tea and cola-type drinks.

"The adverse effects of caffeine under these circumstances can be a serious problem," he said.

"The NZFSA should ... seek ways to persuade industry to modify the marketing and even the composition of these drinks", Stuff.co.nz quoted Professor John Birkbeck, adjunct professor of nutrition at Massey University, as saying.

Energy drinks are covered by a trans-Tasman food standard, but the "shots" had since become widely available and on this side of the Tasman are sold under the NZ supplemented food standard and have to be labelled with how much caffeine they contain, and advice the product is not recommended for children, lactating women, or people sensitive to caffeine. (ANI)

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