Energy drinks catching on in Lufkin, but health officials not happy about it

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The popularity of energy drinks doesn't seem to be dwindling anytime soon. However, what is really alarming is seeing more and more young teens with energy drinks in their hands.

Products telling you they can help boost your energy through out the day are everywhere.
Names like Rock Star, Amp, Red Bull, are pretty catchy names that pre-teens and teens think are cool.

"I see a lot of students drinking them and even the 5 Hour Energy, the little small shots that they sell," said P. E. Coach Sharon Means.

Lufkin Middle School P. E. coach and health teacher Sharon Means is surprised by how many parents allow their kids to drink these high sugar, high-caffeine beverages.

"I've seen a trend that young students are looking to other avenues for their energy or happiness," said Means.

Dr. Rima Kittley, board certified in family medicine, said young adults are looking for a buzz.

"They're drinking sugar water and/or artificially sweetened water with colors and flavors and caffeine, caffeine, caffeine," said Kittley.

The middle school P. E. teacher wants parents to realize that a can of anything isn't a good substitute for basic healthy habits.

"Students need to get energy from sleep, nutrition, and physical activity," said Means.

Kittley wants parents to start early.  She said not to wait until your kids are in middle school or high school to teach them about what's healthy for them. Also, remember they're watching the choices you make.

Kittley said the side-effects of kids and young adults drinking energy beverages include obesity, attention problems, and dehydration.

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