RRED Welcomes Professor Naveed Sattar

RRED welcomes Professor Naveed Sattar who has agreed to join the RRED team as our medical adviser. As Professor of Metabolic Medicine at Glasgow University, Naveed specialises in understanding the links between diabetes, obesity and heart disease. He is a recognised international expert in his field with several national and international prizes for his research. He has published extensively on his subject and has contributed to several clinical guidelines relevant to diabetes and obesity.

Professor Sattar said ‘I am very pleased to be part of the RRED team and hope we will make progress in persuading shops to restrict sales of energy drinks to children. These drinks are entirely unsuitable and unnecessary in a child’s diet. Until we have legislation we have to rely on retailers taking a responsible attitude towards their young customers’.

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Tomorrow’s people, tomorrow’s world

A quick look at the internet and it’s clear that concern about energy drinks and their impact on today’s children is rising fast, as people realise the issue isn’t isolated or localised.

 

Schools are on the front line and as awareness continues to rise I’m sure that stories about this issue will come to light in ever greater quantity. We all have our part to play in looking after tomorrow’s generation and no more so than the retailer who can decide who they do and don’t sell these energy drinks to. As with many new drinks and foods that we invent, the longer term effects, are as yet unknown, but it’s clear from the amount of noise on the internet about this subject, especially related to children, that something isn’t right.

 

So why not support our campaign and get involved, by looking at the get involved section on the website. We want to make sure that tomorrow’s generation is a healthy generation, that helps make tomorrow’s world a place, that we all want to live in, so let’s do our bit to make it so.
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Has this happened to you?

Has this happened to you? I was in a supermarket recently, waiting in the queue. In front of me was a small girl aged about eight. She was holding three cans of the supermarket’s own brand of energy drink. Same size and caffeine quantity as the big name brands but each one costs about 35p. Because she was immediately in front of me in the queue I was able to watch the assistant as he served her.
 
He paid no attention at all to the energy drinks but passed them through the scanner as though they were any other item of grocery. She handed over her money and left with them in a bag.
 
I wanted to ask the assistant to refuse to sell them to her but I held my tongue. It should not be up to a member of the public to intervene. Of course parents should monitor and control what their children buy but they cannot be with them all the time and in their absence I think the shop has a duty of care to children like my young shopper.
 
If she is unaccompanied ask her if her mother knows she is buying these drinks. Tell her kindly she cannot buy them without her parents or responsible adult. Offer her an alternative. If energy drinks are not recommended for children then shops should not sell them to children. .

Why do we eat food?

Why do we eat food?
 
Is it the taste sensation created when we put the food in our mouths? This is clearly part of it, but the basic reason is that the body needs energy!
 

An athlete or sports person will eat foods that provide the energy they need and combined with the exercise they generally maintain a healthy body. So why don’t they eat lots of hamburgers, chocolate and other fast foods? Because they know it will affect their performance!
 

Today’s fast paced world –
 

With all the clever marketing and pressure applied to parents, it’s easy to see how they can be lead to take the easy option at times, when it comes to feeding their children. But, before we start condemning parents of today, perhaps we should ask another question – “how much education have the parents had about food and how it works?” – I suspect very little. We live in a world where we are continually told what’s right and wrong or good and bad, followed by a “we got it wrong!” it’s not bad for you after all. If you add this to the lack of actual education about food and how it works, mixed with lots of clever advertising and super easy / fast food, it’s no wonder we are where we are today.
 

Education –
 

Is probably the long term solution to the issues of today – think about it, we know that if we put water in the petrol tank the car won’t go and no one will convince you otherwise, but spend just a little time on the internet reading about what you should or shouldn’t eat or what diet works best and in no time at all you will be overwhelmed and totally lost!
 

Opinions, theories and facts are all mixed up, so is it any wonder there’s so much discussion about the subject of food!
 

Take a quick look at anything you’re good at – you know how it’s done and no one will tell you different, so imagine if people were educated about food and its impact on health from an early age. It would make a difference without any need to force people to do the right thing as they would make informed choices about the food they eat.
 

Unfortunately that world has yet to arrive, so we are in need of responsible people who will help ensure the health of tomorrow’s generations, which is what RRED is all about.
 

So if you’ve looked around the website and agree with what we are doing please take the relevant action and join the push to help look after the children of today.
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Energy drinks have 4 times more caffeine than Coca Cola

We at RRED talk to many people about energy drinks and their effect on children. Most people know instinctively that too much caffeine is not good for children. But how much is too much? Unfortunately there is virtually no research about energy drinks and children, but we are grateful to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh for pointing out to us this research from the US website for doctors called Medscape on the effect of caffeine.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/821863-overview#showall

Caffeine is the most widely consumed stimulant in the world. It is present in many forms including tea, coffee, soft drinks and chocolate. The table below shows the amount of caffeine in several forms. An energy drink has almost four times as much caffeine per 100ml as a fizzy drink like coke. The demands of a stimulant on a child’s body are much greater than on an adult’s. It says on each can of energy drink NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN, PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING WOMEN. Why do shops sell them to children when the effects are unknown?

M&M Chocolate Candies (1 x 47.9g bag): 7
Coca-Cola Classic (12oz can): 35
Fiorinal/Fioricet (1 tablet): 40
Brewed black tea, generic (8oz): 45-74
Red Bull Regular (8.4oz can): 80
Brewed coffee, generic (8oz): 57
Midol (1 Gel Cap): 60
No Doz (1 tablet): 100
Regular 5-Hour Energy (2oz shot): 138
Rockstar (16oz can): 160
Monster Energy (16oz can): 160
Espresso, generic (1oz): 170
Vivarin (1 tablet): 200
NOS 16: 280
Starbucks Tall Americano (16oz): 330

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School Links Officers support RRED

PC Jimmy Dee is a school link officer in West Edinburgh. He works in secondary schools with teachers, parents and local communities to provide ‘diversionary and preventative work’ which will reduce the likelihood of young people becoming the perpetrators or victims of crime. He is one of twelve link officers covering all the secondary schools. The schools link officers are the result of a successful pilot between City of Edinburgh Council and Police Scotland (formerly Lothians and Borders Police). PC Dee welcomes the RRED campaign. He said ‘I am very keen to support RRED because we see the harmful effects of these drinks on children’s behaviour outside school as well as in the classroom’. PC Jimmy Dee has already spoken to local retailers about becoming RRED shops. Visits will take place shortly, watch this space!.

When is a fact not a fact?

Life is full of twists and turns and making informed decisions can often be a challenge, when all around appear to have an opinion about the subject.

 

And therein lies the problem, too many of us are prone to making statements of ‘opinion’ and quoting them as ‘facts’, not necessarily intentionally, but because we believe passionately about the subject matter of the discussion. I know I’ve done it in the past, especially when being backed into a corner about something I’m passionate about, so when it comes to what’s right and wrong or good and bad for the children of today, it can sometimes be difficult to make informed choices for them.

 

Energy drinks and children’s consumption, is one of those subject matters that can fall into this bracket, because there is still limited factual knowledge about the effects of these drinks, except the evidence appears to tell a different story, when you start talking to people who deal with children on a regular basis. They see firsthand the results of children taking these drinks and from their view point there is something wrong. So the fact is that they see children drinking the drinks and then see behaviour changes as a result and to many have commented on this.

 

So if you are someone who has children or who has seen behaviour changes in children in connection with energy drink consumption then we want to hear from you, because if enough people have observed this, it will help the retailer see that selling these drinks to children is not a good idea as well as not being popular.
We all have a responsibility to the local community and for the health and well being of the next generation and this is why we want the retailers to help change the future for the better.

 

So feel free to tell us your story about energy drinks and children, so that we can be heard as one voice.
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Responsible Retailing of Energy Drinks

RRED depends on your support. We need stories of how energy drinks affect children. It is the real life experience of mums, dads, grandparents, foster parents and kinship carers, anyone with responsibility for a child that will make a difference to retailers. You are their customers and your children are their future customers. Let’s remind shopkeepers that if they make a living from a local community they have a responsibility to look after that community. Tell us your story, help us to keep the blog alive. Thank you for your help and support..

  • We want to Hear from You

    We want to Hear from You