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13-Year-Old Asks for a Monster

Do Energy Drinks Turn Kids into Zombies?

Food and nutrition columnist Jennifer LaRue Huget of the Washington Post writes today about her worries when her 13-year-old son, influenced by extreme sports hero endorsements, asked to buy a Monster energy drink. Is it O.K. for kids, she wondered? Investigating, she discovered that it contains 160 milligrams of caffeine, about four times that in a can of Coca Cola. In addition, it contained a number of exotic additives. Most of them are probably harmless and all are on the FDA's approved food additives or GRAS (generally regarded as safe) lists. On the other hand, they probably do you no good either. More than the caffeine, the sugar dose worried Jennifer. In the end she decided that energy drinks wouldn't kill her kid, but she hopes he grows out of them.

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