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The Dangers of the Energy Drink Explosion

The last decade has brought about an energy drink explosion.  You cannot go into any gas station or grocery store without seeing a significant amount of shelf space dedicated to these products.  Unfortunately, there are several health risks associated with these drinks, including type 2 diabetes, severe headaches, increased anxiety, high blood pressure and caffeine overdose, which can cause heart palpitations, nausea, convulsions, and, in some cases, even death.

Despite these health risks, several restaurants are contemplating selling these controversial beverages. Notably, according to the Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s is planning to sell Monster Energy Drinks in some of its locations in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, and, sadly, our home State of Illinois.  As sales of these dangerous drinks rises, public health officials and attorneys are calling for more oversight and regulation of this industry.  These energy drinks have avoided regulation because they are considered “supplements” and not beverages.  This means that Monster and Red Bull deal with less regulations and restrictions than Coke or Pepsi despite having over three times the level of caffeine and significantly more sugar.

The dangers of these “supplements” should not be understated.  Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Monster Beverage claiming that the drinks are unreasonably dangerous and these suits are backed up by the evidence.  According to a study conducted by The American Heart Association, major cardiovascular effects were reported in over fifty percent of individuals who contacted various poison control centers following use of an energy drink.  Further, fifty-five percent of these people reported some type of neurologic effects.  Finally, and most frightening, of the reported cases, forty percent were unintentional exposures by young children.  Something must be done to protect people, particularly the youth, from the negative effects of constant use of these drinks.

It is important to make sure you, your family, and your friends are educated about these products and the potential dangers associated with then.  If you or a loved one is experiencing negative effects from these drinks it is important that you contact a health provider and assure that no permanent damage has been done.  If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of these energy drinks, please contact an experienced attorney at Hipskind & McAninch for a free consultation: 618.641.9189 (IL) | 314.242.2930 (MO) |

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