Scary Monsters

By Dean L. Jones, CPM

In a healthy person, blood sugar (glucose) levels are metabolized roughly within an hour after eating, except consuming caffeine will raise blood sugar levels much longer.  Caffeine raises blood sugar levels by causing the body to put out large amounts of adrenalin making our cells less responsive to insulin.  Science shows caffeine to be useful to our health when averaging no more than 200-300 milligrams (mg) a day.  Together with coffee beans and caffeine there are properties that stabilize blood sugar levels while possibly helping to prevent rectal and colon cancer, Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases.

However, anything that raises blood sugar levels too high can increase cell damage.  Which is why in the wake of deaths being linked to consuming the energy drink called Monster Energy it is appropriate to highlight how too much caffeine and processed sugar can cause harm.  The Monster Energy drink manufacturer distributes 27 drinks under the Monster label including Java Monster, Extra Strength, Import and Rehab.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has had to investigate a bodily harm claim from drinking this product resulting from the law suit against the Monster Energy company for negligence and wrongful death filed by the parents of their 14-year-old daughter, Anais Fournier who consumed two cans within a twenty four period.  Thus far, the FDA has yet to establish a definitive link between Monster energy drinks to five deaths and another non-fatal heart attack.

Even so, too many consumers believe that they need a pick-me-up, which mainly stems from the lack of getting adequate nutrition and quality sleep each day.  For that reason, energy drink manufacturers are taking complete advantage of consumers’ health in the course of doing business to make money from an outwardly growing demand for liquid energy boosts.  As a consequence, scores of people are becoming dependent (addicted) from the highly caffeinated and sugar-laden ingredients from the many energy drinks sold by Monster, Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Rockstar and beverage giants such as the Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Inc.

Monster Energy reported $592.6 million net sales from April to June 2012, 28% higher for the same period last year.  The federal government Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released a report showing energy-drink consumption a rising public health concern because excessive caffeine intake can cause medical and behavioral issues. Hospital emergency-room visits related to people consuming energy drinks jumped from 1,128 in 2005 to 13,114 in 2009.  This rate is steadily increasing, and referenced earlier 300 mg of caffeine is the universally recommended safe amount of caffeine to consume each day.  Well, just one 24-ounce can of Monster Energy drink has 2,500 mg of caffeine or 8 times over the daily recommended quantity.  Therefore, it is exceedingly crucial to be conscientiously alert to slow down the sugar and caffeine monsters!

www.SugarAlert.com
Mr. Jones is a marketing strategist with Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.