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Submitted: 27 Dec 2014
Accepted: 19 Feb 2015
ePublished: 29 Mar 2015
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Health Promot Perspect. 2015;5(1): 1-2.
doi: 10.15171/hpp.2015.001
PMID: 26000240
PMCID: PMC4430692
  Abstract View: 690
  PDF Download: 409

Commentary

The Potential Danger of Flavoring in Health Promoting and Health Com­promising Products: Implications for Children

Corey Hannah Basch * , Charles E Basch

Abstract

In making food choices, children innately gravi­tate to foods that have a sweet flavor.1 Yet, flavorings no longer are confined to foods. For example, the sweet flavor present in candy is now widespread in children’s vitamins, and medicinal items like cough syrup. Vitamin and mineral supple­ments are consumed by approximately one-third of children in the United States.2 With a myr­iad of choices including different colors, shapes, candy flavorings, and cartoon characters, young consumers are bound to be satisfied. This, how­ever, presents issues relevant not only to pediatri­cians, but public health practitioners, and, in the worst-case scenario, emergency care professionals. In 2012, there were nearly 50,000 calls to poison control centers in the United States due to chil­dren (those 5 and under) consuming excessive amounts of vitamins.3 Overconsumption of vita­mins is a recognized risk, particularly with those that have such a close resemblance to candy.4 Simi­larly, cold and cough preparations accounted for 28, 837 calls regarding pediatric exposures (those 5 and under) to poison control in 2012.3 Flavorings in these products as well often resem­ble candy, and no doubt, make this product more palatable. While these are products often thought of as health promoting, health professionals may overlook the possible harm of overdose simply because of the nature of the product. However, there is now an emerging concern with potential for children to be drawn to sweet flavoring and risk the possibility of being poisoned by liquid nico­tine.
Keywords: Danger, Flavoring, Implications, Children
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