Improving Education Around Energy Drinks

Improving  Education Around Energy Drinks Title Image

A recent report from the BBC outlined that up to a third of UK children consume at least one energy drink a week, with some consuming them almost daily. Given the health concerns associated with energy drinks, it goes without saying that this is an alarming statistic.

This blog is not designed to call for a ban on energy drinks, rather to increase and improve education on the risks around them. I personally enjoy the occasional energy drink to get me through the day at work. That said, I realise the value of limiting myself to one per day, often on alternate days of the week. Furthermore, as the labelling on energy drinks suggests, the products are very much unsuitable for children.

Recent UK legislation to provide ID in shops on the purchase of an energy drink is a step in the right direction. During my secondary school days, we had the freedom to buy as many energy drinks as we wished. We rarely had the dangers pointed out to us in school, which meant some friends would consume up to two sizeable cans a day. One friend had even complained of irregular heartbeats as a result.

The statistics from the British Heart Foundation are certainly alarming, with somebody in the UK dying from a heart or circulatory disease every 3 minutes. It’s estimated that over half of us will get a heart of circulatory condition in our lifetime. The overall death rate has declined since 1961, which suggests we have made progress in a medical sense, but with increased risk from poor diet and lack of exercise, there is always more that can be done.

It is not enough to simply put these measures in place. The appropriate education is also necessary in order to ensure children realise the risks associated with energy drink consumption. This is something we cover in the 1decision curriculum within the Keeping/Staying Healthy modules that encompass both Primary Portals (ages 5-8 and ages 8-11).

As well as warning of the dangers of smoking and drinking, it’s important to emphasise the risks associated with energy drinks, as well as diets that are high in sugar and fats. While these products are fine in moderation, knowing limitations is a crucial life lesson that should extend beyond childhood. Sometimes this is easier said than done but demonstrating the values of eating and living healthily at least provides a solid foundation.

At 1decision, this foundation even extends into our Early Years portal and our RainbowSmart App, in which we have storybooks on going swimming (‘Red Goes Swimming’), dental hygiene (‘Orange Brushes Her Teeth’ and ‘Red Visits the Dentist’), healthy eating (‘Greens Greens’) and taking care of ourselves should we fall ill (‘Purple is Poorly’ and ‘Yellow Learns About Germs’). Mental and physical health work in tandem with one another, and our storybooks work on the premise of allowing children to understand this at a basic foundational level.

Once the foundation is there, we can collectively achieve so much more to ensure a brighter and better future for everyone. Why not see about a free trial with 1decision for your school today? For peace of mind, why not also check out our mapping document to see how the 1decision curriculum meets the statutory changes to PSHE education made in 2020 here?

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