Energy Drinks Targets Kids - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Energy Drinks Targets Kids

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Just how safe are energy drinks?

Last month, the American Medical Association came out in support of a ban on selling energy drinks to minors.

That issue has become serious enough for lawmakers to take it up at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

ABC's Rebecca Jarvis has.

From Youtube videos... to Facebook posts... and all over the internet children as young as 6 can be seen posing next to.... and experimenting with  energy drinks.

Even reality TV star Honey Boo Boo  revealing on GMA they're part of her favorite go to concoction "go-go juice.."

Honey Boo Boo – "Energy drink makes me happy, caffeine makes me happy."

But after complaints from parents and warnings from the medical community, Washington is now taking aim, claiming companies like monster, Red Bull and Rockstar are intentionally marketing to kids.

The drinks are currently marketed through pro-sporting events, concerts,  tours, and shows... the type of things that usually draw a young audience.

Most of the drinks do come with a warning label to "consume responsibly" and that they are "not recommended for children" ..still some experts suggest nearly a third of people between 12 and 17 years old are regularly consuming them.

Dr. Richard Besser, "It can cause palipitations in the heart, high blood pressure, anxiety, trouble sleeping, these are not things children should be  subjected to."

Between 2007 and 2011, one study says the number of emergency room visits involving energy drinks doubled... and more than a thousand of the incidents involved teens.

While the drink makers have agreed to review social media...and red bull has says it has set limits on the amount of caffeine in its drinks including labels limiting the drinks to those 16 and up  setting up what is sure to be an even more contentious and energetic debate.

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