The mother of a pint-sized beauty queen is under fire this week for serving her hyped-up daughter “go-go juice,” a mixture of Mountain Dew and Red Bull.
“You have to have something to energize the body before you go on stage,” June Shannon, the girl’s mother, said Thursday on “Good Morning America.” “When they get on stage they need to be alive and their personality has to shine.”
Six-year-old Alana Shannon (or "Honey Boo Boo" as she's affectionally been dubbed) and her family from rural McIntyre, Georgia, have been a Southern-fried hit on the TLC show, “Toddlers & Tiaras.”
The public has known that the first-grader has never seemed shy -- “Caffeine drinks make me hyper!” she says in a recent clip -- now they know that she may be high. “There’s worse things,” her mother said.
But the makers of the two drinks aren't necessarily fans of the elixir.
“We do not endorse the consumption of our products in this way,” a Red Bull representative told HLN Friday. “Children are more sensitive to caffeine than adults and normally have plenty of energy. We do not recommend Red Bull for caffeine sensitive individuals, including children.”
A spokeswoman for PepsiCo (which makes Mountain Dew), Andrea Foote told HLN on Friday, “Mountain Dew is a product that is marketed to teens and adults.” She declined further comment.
The Food and Drug Administration has said that caffeine consumption among children can cause behavioral changes and should be limited.
The blogosphere, always a lair of lively discussion, is divided on the issue. Many parents said it was an issue of bad parenting.
On the Toddlers & Tiaras Facebook page, Tania C. said, "Child abuse at the very least. Hopping your child up on GO GO Juice. How about Alana’s Mom Goes Goes to the gym herself and not pushing harmful chemicals on her child’s body!"
Jennifer S, commenting on Polk Moms, said: “Of course it is a type of drugging. Millions of people do it every day. Caffeine is a socially acceptable stimulant. It really isn't much different than a mother giving her kid Dramamine so they will sleep during an airline flight. As an occasional tool, it is no big deal.”
While Shannon actually divulged the secret sauce last month, telling Radar Online, "“I didn’t do anything to hurt her,” the issue re-ignited with the GMA interview. The term “go-go juice,” even became the cause du jour on Twitter, with several people cracking on the liquid crack.
To be fair, Shannon isn’t the only one who gets the family started with a kick. Actor Brad Pitt recently divulged that he gives his kids Coca-Cola for breakfast.
Brandi Koskie, managing editor over at Diets in Review recommended the couple serve fruit purees, fresh fruit, smoothies and cups of cereal. Ouch!
HLN readers, we want to hear from you? Are parents' diet regimens for their children fair game to criticize? Or should America take a chill pill?