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Caffeinated Kids Quite Common In Today's World

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    View attachment 37189 Nearly 3 out of 4 U.S. children and young adults consume at least some caffeine, mostly from soda, tea and coffee. The rate didn't budge much over a decade, although soda use declined and energy drinks became an increasingly common source, a government analysis finds.

    Though even most preschoolers consume some caffeine-containing products, their average was the amount found in half a can of soda, and overall caffeine intake declined in children up to age 11 during the decade.

    The analysis is the first to examine recent national trends in caffeine intake among children and young adults and comes amid a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation into the safety of caffeine-containing foods and drinks, especially for children and teens. In an online announcement about the investigation, the FDA notes that caffeine is found in a variety of foods, gum and even some jelly beans and marshmallows.

    The probe is partly in response to reports about hospitalizations and even several deaths after consuming highly caffeinated drinks or energy shots. The drinks have not been proven to be a cause in those cases.

    The new analysis, by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that at least through 2010, energy drinks were an uncommon source of caffeine for most U.S. youth.

    The results were published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against caffeine consumption for children and teens because of potentially harmful effects from the mild stimulant, including increases in heart rate and blood pressure, and worsening anxiety in those with anxiety disorders.

    Dr. Stephen Daniels, chairman of the academy's nutrition committee, said caffeine has no nutritional value and there's no good data on what might be a safe amount for kids.

    Evidence that even very young children may regularly consume caffeine products raises concerns about possible long-term health effects, so parents should try to limit their kids' intake, said Daniels, head of pediatrics at the University of Colorado's medical school.

    The authors analyzed national health surveys from 1999 through 2010, involving a total of 22,000 from age 2 to 22. The children or their parents answered questions about what they ate or drank the previous day, a common method researchers use to assess Americans' diets.

    In 2010, 10 percent of daily caffeine came from energy drinks for 19- to 22-year-olds; 2 percent for 17- to 18-year-olds, and 3 percent for 12- to 16-year-olds. For younger kids, the amount from energy drinks was mostly minimal or none during the study.

    The average intake in the study was about 60- to 70 milligrams daily, the amount in a 6-ounce cup of coffee or two sodas, said lead author Amy Branum, a health statistician at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. For the youngest kids it was much less than that.

    Use of energy drinks increased rapidly during the study, even if they didn't amount to a big portion of kids' caffeine intake, and that rise "is a trend researchers are going to keep their eyes on," Branum said.

    Soda was the most common source of caffeine throughout the study for older children and teens; for those up to age 5, it was the second most common after tea. Soda intake declined for all ages as many schools stopped selling sugary soft drinks because of obesity concerns.

    The American Beverage Association, whose members include makers of soft drinks and energy drinks, maintains that caffeine has been safely added to drinks as a flavor enhancer for more than 100 years.

    "In amounts often found in coffee and some energy drinks, caffeine can have a pleasant stimulating or alerting effect," the group's website says. Maureen Beach, a group spokeswoman, said the study confirms that kids' consumption of caffeine from soft drinks has decreased.

    2/10/14, ABC News

    Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/caffeine-common-kids-young-adults-soda-22437475

    Photo: Google photos, caffeinated kids

    NewsHawks Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Alien Sex Fiend
    Caffeine is a very safe drug. I really don't see a problem with this. However, they should test those kids who get over-prescribed Adderall for daily caffeine intake
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    I know it may seem like a harmless substance, but for children it is not. Here are some of the concerns about children and caffeine from UShealth.com:

    For children, the risks and benefits of caffeine look very different. Here’s what parents need to know about caffeine and its affects on kids’ health -

    • Caffeine has no nutritional or other food value. It is a psychoactive stimulant that affects brain chemistry. It can disrupt neural development and may lead to abnormalities in behavior and socialization.
    • Caffeine can cause physical dependence. If your kid is hooked and tries to kick the habit, he or she may experience full-blown withdrawal symptoms for up to 10 days, including headache, sleepiness or insomnia, irritability, lethargy, constipation, and/or depression.
    • Caffeine products are often loaded with sugar. Caffeine naturally tastes bitter and sugar is added to make it palatable to your kids. Not only is sugar a source of empty calories that can lead to overweight and obesity, the combination can trigger addiction and/or dependence through different pathways.
    • Caffeine does not boost energy levels in kids. It impedes the perception of fatigue by stimulating brain arousal and vigilance, which can lead to unruly or even dangerous behaviors.
    • There is no safe or recommended level of caffeine for kids. In fact, caffeinated energy drinks should eliminated from children’s diets, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
    • Caffeine can trigger insomnia. Kids slug caffeinated products like energy drinks thinking they will ‘boost energy and performance’ at school and on the athletic field. Truth is, caffeine worsens performance due to fatigue! In one study, 90% of middle and high school students sampled reported getting less than 8 hours of sleep on average each night, with caffeine consumption being the number one culprit.
    • Caffeine consumption can cause hospitalizations or even death. The number of annual hospital visits involving caffeinated sports and energy drinks doubled from 2007 to 2011. The federal Food and Drug Administration is investigating 13 deaths tied to 5-Hour Energy Drink and five deaths linked to Monster Energy Drinks.
    • Caffeinated products are marketed as “cool.” Advertising campaigns use cartoon characters and/or the portrayal of an energized and successful kid to push their products. (This is similar to the way the tobacco industry targeted kids until cigarette ads aimed at kids were banned.)

    *Source: http://news.health.com/2013/01/28/generation-c-is-caffeine-the-next-kids-health-crisis/

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