Govt advises youths to avoid energy drinks
Date: 7 Aug 2012
Energy drinks should not be consumed by anyone under 18 and children should exercise for at least an hour a day, according to new Government recommendations.
There has also been a renewed push to reduce fat, salt and sugar in the diets of children and young people to keep them healthy.
The Ministry of Health yesterday released its new Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Children and Young People (Aged 2–18 years), who represent a quarter of New Zealand's population.
The update, the first since 1998, is tougher than its predecessor, which said the caffeine and sugar-filled energy drinks were all right every once in a while.
The Ministry of Health's chief adviser on child and youth health, Dr Pat Tuohy, said energy drinks used to be sold in smaller quantities.
"But now they're being sold in bigger and bigger volumes - up to 600ml - and that makes it easier to exceed an adverse effect level with a single bottle or can. We're advising young people to avoid them, we think they're harmful to their health."
Children and young people should do at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity each day while reducing their time in front of a screen, outside of school, to two hours a day. Dancing, sport, jobs, play and just getting around are suggested as ways to exercise.
* No energy drinks for those under 18.
* No tea or coffee for those under 13.
* Young people older than 13 can have up to two cups a day.
* High fat, sugar or salt foods should be for occasional use only.
* Eat enough for activity, growth and to maintain a healthy body size.
* Drink plenty of water during the day. Include reduced or low-fat milk.
* Eat meals with family or whanau as often as possible.
* Encourage children and young people to be involved in shopping, growing and cooking family meals.
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