The FDA is being asked to look into Logan Paul’s energy drink, which has the caffeine of 6 Coke cans

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. influencer / ˈɪn flu ən sər / (n.) – someone who is able to persuade other people on social media to buy or use products/services he/she is using

    Many people buy makeup recommended by famous influencers.

  2. viral / ˈvaɪ rəl / (adj.) – used to describe something, such as a video, an image, etc., that spreads quickly on the internet because people share or talk about it

    The funny video I posted yesterday went viral. It has reached more than one million views overnight!

  3. beverage / ˈbɛv ər ɪdʒ / (n.) – any type of drink aside from water

    Iced tea is her favorite beverage.

  4. legion / ˈli dʒən / (n.) – a large number of people

    Legions of English rock fans were at the music festival.

  5. vegan / ˈvi gən / (adj.) – not using products or ingredients from animals

    This restaurant is vegan. They only serve plant-based foods.


Read the text below.

An influencer-backed energy drink that has earned viral popularity among children is facing scrutiny from lawmakers and health experts over its potentially dangerous levels of caffeine.

Sen. Charles Schumer called on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate PRIME, a beverage brand founded by the YouTube stars Logan Paul and KSI that has become something of an obsession among the influencers’ legions of young followers.

“One of the summer’s hottest status symbols for kids is not an outfit, or a toy—it’s a beverage,” said Schumer, a Democrat from New York. “But buyer and parents beware because it’s a serious health concern for the kids it so feverishly targets.”

Backed by two of YouTube’s best-known stars, PRIME was an immediate sensation when it launched last year, prompting long lines in grocery stores and reports of school yard resale markets.

Advertising itself as zero sugar and vegan, the neon-colored cans are among a growing number of energy drinks with elevated levels of caffeine; in PRIME’s case, 200 milligrams per 12 ounces, equivalent to about half a dozen Coke cans or nearly two Red Bulls.

That high content prompted bans from some schools in the United Kingdom and Australia where some pediatricians warned of possible health impacts on young children such as heart problems, anxiety, and digestive issues.

A company representative said their energy drink, which comes with a warning label that it is “not recommended for children under 18,” contains a comparable level of caffeine to other competitors. “As a brand, our top priority is consumer safety, so we welcome discussions with the FDA or any other organization regarding suggested industry changes they feel are necessary in order to protect consumers,” spokesperson Alyx Sealy, said in a statement.

Sealy also noted the company sells a separate sports drink, PRIME Hydration, which contains no caffeine at all. But in his letter to the FDA, Schumer claimed there was little noticeable difference in the online marketing of the two drinks – leading many parents to believe they were purchasing a juice for their kids, only to wind up with a “cauldron of caffeine.”

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • PRIME energy drink, backed by two of YouTube’s best-known stars, has earned viral popularity among children. Would you be easily convinced to buy a product that’s promoted by a popular influencer? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What products do you think would easily become viral among children in your country (ex. digital products like games, sports-related products)? Why do you think so? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • In your opinion, should governments prohibit influencers from promoting products? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think parents should be responsible for what their minor children are buying or consuming? Why or why not? How do you think parents can make sure that the products their children are purchasing are safe? Discuss.