Energized or addicted?

By WEEK Producer

February 27, 2013 Updated Mar 1, 2013 at 12:05 AM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill -- Busy lifestyles leave many Americans running on fumes just to make it through the day. 

That's why millions turn to caffeine for help.

Research shows more people are reaching for energy drinks to feed their fix but the health risks are fueling a proposed ban in one Illinois city.

Chicago Alderman Ed Burke wants to keep highly-caffeinated energy drinks out of the hands of all adults and minors in the city. Under the ordinance, those are drinks with more than 180 milligrams of caffeine, a 24-ounce size, and contain Guarana or Taurine. Burke says the drinks pose a serious health problem.

A recent federal report showed emergency room visits doubled in four years because of energy drink consumption.

In this case, he said it's necessary for government to take action to protect the public's well-being.

If passed, the ordinance would make Chicago the first city in the nation to ban energy drinks. It's a challenge Alderman Burke isn't afraid of.

"I proposed the first ban on tobacco products in Chicago and I was accused of over reacting," said Burke. "It's proven over the years this is one of the most important public health initiatives in our nation's history."

The Chicago council's health committee will hold a hearing on the issue March 5.

It must clear the committee and get a majority council vote before it's passed.

The proposed ban in Chicago raises the question, how much caffeine is too much?