One of America’s most elite and most expensive colleges will ban the sale of Red Bull and other energy drinks over fears that the caffeine-crammed products breed a “culture of stress” and lead to drug use and “high-risk sex.”
Middlebury College, an ultra-fancypants, $61,456-per-year redoubt of the liberal arts and sciences, is the school. It’s in Vermont.
Dining services officials at Middlebury have announced that all campus retail locations will stop selling energy drinks including Red Bull and 5-hour Energy as of March 7, reports The Middlebury Campus, the school newspaper.
The decision to ban the sale of the popular beverages stems from a single complaint by a student, Myles Kamisher-Koch.
On Jan. 19, Kamisher-Koch proclaimed at a college governance meeting that Red Bull and its various competitors have potentially negative health effects. Kamisher-Koch cited scientific research and the bold vision statement of Middlebury College’s dining services: to “nourish and nurture today and tomorrow by sustaining mind, body, and earth.”
Kamisher-Koch also cited data allegedly showing that “up to 25 percent of current drinkers combine alcoholic beverages with energy drinks” and that the drinks breed a “culture of stress” among students.
The student’s ban on energy drink sales was later approved by a campus government vote of 11-1.
A statement from Middlebury’s dining services cites “increased likelihood to drive while intoxicated” and “increased participation in high-risk sexual activity” among a handful of justifications for the new campus ban the sale of Red Bull,” notes The Middlebury Campus.
As Fox News notes, energy drinks have been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks among young people and of heart disease in general. However, any link to a higher propensity for high-risk sex — however this term may be defined — appears to be tenuous at best.
Some students at the prestigious school say they staunchly support Middlebury’s new era of prohibition on energy drinks.
“I learned in my psychology class that energy drinks are linked to high-risk sex and drug use,” Middlebury freshman Jenna McNicholas, told the student newspaper.
“The school has a responsibility to direct students to healthy choices,” another freshman, Meg Knox, announced.
[dcquiz] Other students say they oppose the energy drinks temperance movement.
“There are more important things for them to address,” senior Arnav Adhikari told NBC News. “And what do energy drinks have to do with sexual activity?”
“They still sell lots of fried food,” Adhikari also observed.
Middlebury students who want to buy energy drinks on campus will still be able to buy an organic tea energy shot called Guayaki Brand Yerba Mate, which “literally tastes and smells like an ashtray,” according to one Amazon reviewer.