Energy Drinks May Lead to Hyperactivity in Kids
One-third of 12- to 17-year-olds in the United States consume energy drinks, leading health officials to wonder what kind of effects a beverage heavy in caffeine and sugar could have on a developing mind.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
There's a lot of bad stuff out there for kids to eat. Jesse Singal from NYMag writes that energy drinks are of particular concern for one set researchers who write that “nearly one-third of 12- to 17-year-olds in the United States regularly consume energy drinks." Their study brings some evidence on the effects a caffeine-heavy, sugary beverage can have on a developing mind.
The group recently published their work in Academic Pediatrics. The researchers say the popularity of energy drinks outside of college campuses has led some health officials to wonder what kind of side effects energy drinks could have on youngsters. The researchers surveyed 1,649 students from 12 schools. The students were asked what kinds of sweetened beverages they consumed within the last 24 hours and completed a questionnaire to measure symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention they experienced. The researchers found:
“Students reporting consumption of energy drinks were 66% more likely to be at risk for hyperactivity/inattention after adjusting for number of drinks, other types of drinks consumed, and other potential confounders.”
Of course, Singal makes a good point that causality is always an issue in studies like this one. It may be too soon for researchers to draw conclusions that energy drinks cause hyperactivity in kids. But they worry about the repercussions these drinks could have on young, developing minds:
“The combination of sugar and caffeine also may facilitate caffeine dependence, and exposure to caffeine during adolescence while brain development is underway may disrupt proper sleep and nutrition — two critical elements of maximizing brain growth and development.”
More research, controlled and observational, is required to examine the long- and short-term effects these drinks have on youths as they develop into adults. Still, it's always good to err on the side of caution and moderate the sugar (and caffeine) intake in general — for anyone.
Read more at NYMag.
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Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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