Saturday, December 3, 2016

Energy drinks - at SCS we just say no thank you.


You may have read about G Fuel in the New York Times or heard about it on Fox News. The new energy drink is getting a lot of press these days even in the advent of all the scrutiny that Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar have faced. As a parent if you’re wondering what all the talk is about, you aren’t alone. Unfortunately, G Fuel has shown up in the locker rooms and bathrooms at Shelburne Community School. Keep in mind that only a short time ago, the energy drink companies that produce Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar voluntarily stopped marketing to young people under the age of 12 because of the adverse health effects that swept the nation.

As a community we’re now faced with this new challenge and SCS wants to be sure that parents and guardians know what’s happening and why we’ve made the decision to forbid in on school property and at school events.   G Fuel was originally marketed to gamers. The claim to fame with the company's marketing approach is that it helps you "enhance your focus, boost your energy, sharpen your reactions, upgrade your endurance". They even used professional e- athletes to promote the drink, e-athletes that gamers knew well and idolized the way some would a professional football or soccer player. In other words, the company says if people want to stay up all night and play video games to their absolute best ability, this was the drink to get them through.

This has trickled down to other kids, not just those that game intensely. Some students at SCS have said that they drink it before a test, some before a big game. There are many things about this that are scary. First of all, kids have to mix it themselves. It comes in powder form and many kids are mixing very concentrated amounts. Secondly, those that are consuming it are trying to share it with others in a very secretive way. Finally, kids around the country are having VERY serious health complications due to over consumption. Just as we’ve been hearing with other energy drinks for years, the caffeine has serious effects on the heart and growing brain. G Fuel is no different and could potentially be worse due to the fact that kids need to mix it themselves.

This is a product that is completely legal for your child to purchase. We share this information with you because we care very much about our students and always want to be forthcoming with patterns or events that we see happening at SCS. Ultimately, we understand and respect that it’s your decision if you’ll allow your child to purchase and consume this beverage. We just want to be sure that we share with you the health implications in case you don’t know. Also, please help your child to understand why we are not allowing this product on school property and that it’s our expectation that they don’t share it with their friends.

Interested in some reliable media reports about G-Fuel - here are a few:
Here is a more descriptive and explicit article about the 10 y.o. from Plymouth, MA

G-Fuel' Energy Drink Puts 10-Year-Old Boy In Hospital
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/health/10-year-old-boy-hospitalized-after-drinking-g-fuel

Here's a more recent news article from last spring regarding a student
from Plymouth, MA who ended up being hospitalized from this beverage.

Powdered energy drink mix sends Plymouth boy to emergency room | Local
News - Home
http://m.wcvb.com/news/powdered-drink-sends-plymouth-boy-to-emergency-room/38941940

I found an article on G fuel… Pretty compelling.
NYTimes: Selling the Young on ‘Gaming Fuel’
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/20/business/energy-drink-industry-under-scrutiny-looks-to-gamers-to-keep-sales-surging.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

Thanks for taking the time to read - if I can offer you any support or even a follow-up conversation with your son or daughter on this topic please feel free to drop me a note at asayre@cssu.org

Amy Sayre - SCS / Connecting Youth (CY) Student Assistance Professional (SAP)

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