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MIAMI (CBS4) – A new University of Miami report warns that energy drinks and children can be a potentially dangerous mix.

The study, “Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults”, found that not only do energy drinks have no benefit for children, they can also cause serious problems in some children, especially those with diabetes, a history of seizures, cardiac abnormalities or mood and behavior disorders.

Researchers fear the high amount of caffeine present in most energy drinks could lead to heart palpitations, seizures, strokes and possibly sudden death.

The energy drink industry has disputed the report’s findings. Energy drinks are the fastest growing U.S. beverage market with sales expected to top $9 billion in year 2011.

Sales of energy drinks to the youth market account for half of all sales, and according to surveys 30 percent to 50 percent of children and teens say they’ve tried energy drinks. Energy drink overdoses in children as young as 5 have been reported both here and in Europe.


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