Educational organizations are urging schools to prohibit energy drinks on their premises, citing their negative effects on children’s health and behaviour.
The call for the ban comes amidst the release of Prime Hydration Drink, a non-caffeinated sports drink that has been mistaken for an energy drink in some media reports. While Prime Energy, a caffeinated energy drink, is available for purchase online, it is not sold in South Africa as reported by The Witness.
The National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) has supported schools that have already implemented a ban and encouraged others to do the same. NASGB General Secretary Matakanye Matakanya stated that the organization advocates for schools to develop policies banning energy drinks on campus.
The Nazamia Muslim School’s principal Mohamed Saeed observed that energy drinks negatively impact students’ behaviour and classroom participation. He has urged parents to talk with their children about the risks associated with energy drinks.
Other educational organizations have recommended that school principals hold meetings with parents to discuss their stance on energy drinks. Thulani Zuma, principal of Sanswill Primary School, has also expressed concern about the prevalence of other “controversial” drinks in the Dambuza area, including homemade concoctions that contain drugs and tablets.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education spokesperson, Muzi Mahlamba, stated that the department cannot prohibit energy drinks on school premises due to a lack of scientific evidence supporting the ban. However, some schools have already taken matters into their own hands and are discouraging students from bringing energy drinks to school.
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