AdvoCare, a company with the motto, “Health, Hope & a Future” has been marketing a sports nutrition beverage for children as young as 4 years of age since 2001, according to this article in Sunday’s New York Times. [Note: They have since moved their target marketing age to 12 years and older]
The drink, called Spark, contains several stimulants and is sold in two formulations: one for children 4 to 11 years old that includes roughly the amount of caffeine found in a cup and a half of coffee, and one containing twice that amount for teenagers and adults.
Many of AdvoCare’s customers say they love the products, but pediatricians, medical experts and others involved in youth sports express strong concern about the levels of caffeine and the idea of encouraging children to use performance-enhancing products, especially at a time when professional athletes are under scrutiny for using stimulants and muscle builders.
I just want to know one thing. Why would a parent serve this to their child?