Energy Drinks, Soft Drinks and Teenagers.
Did you know that the recent Australian Health Survey (ABS) found that 51% of teenage males had consumed soft drink on the day before their interview.
Drinking energy drinks and soft drinks regularly may seem appealing to the ‘risk taker teenager’, however these drinks are doing more harm than good, especially to their health. The impact of sugary drinks on behaviour, unhealthy eating patterns and dental health is becoming alarming.
Drinking sugary drinks throughout the day can lead to fatigue and mood swings. Caffeine can interfere with sleep patterns, leading to a restless night. For young people irregular eating and disrupted sleep patterns can make it more difficult for them to deal with added pressures in school and life stress.
Regular drinking of energy drinks or soft drinks can often replace the intake of healthy foods like fruit, grains, dairy and vegetables. These poor eating habits can have a negative impact on growth, development and concentration and behaviour in the classroom
Different types of drinks including regular and diet soft drinks, sports/energy drinks and fruit juices, all contain acid that harms teeth. The acid weakens tooth enamel which can lead to tooth decay that cannot always be fixed. Poor dental health can have significant long term negative health, social and economic impacts for people.
Every day in the classroom
If you are a teacher, you can play a role in encouraging a regular intake of healthy food and water as the best choice drink.
- Remind students to get a drink of water as they leave the classroom
- Encourage students to bring a water bottle to class
- Have water breaks
- Do not drink soft drinks or energy drinks in the classroom and have your own water bottle to sip on regularly
- Hang posters in the classroom as reminders that water is the best choice and that many other drinks contain high amounts of sugar and can damage teeth (sugar in drinks poster)
- Remind students that eating healthy food at breaks helps them stay focussed in class and other activities such as sport
Article written by Kobe Odgers