Increased Caffeine Consumption in Children and Adolescents
In the past, parents have been advised to be careful about restricting their child’s soda consumption to limit caffeine intake. But nowadays, children and adolescents seem to be moving away from soda toward energy drinks and coffee. A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that looked at caffeine consumption in young adults between 1999 and 2010 found that the number of teenagers consuming caffeine has stayed at a relatively constant at 73 percent. What has changed over the decade is the source of caffeine.
At the start of the study 62 percent of kids said soda was their primary source of caffeine. By the end, only 38 percent listed soda as their primary source of caffeine. In 1999 energy drinks did not exist. By 2010 kids were getting 6 percent of their caffeine from energy drinks. Moreover, the proportion of children drinking coffee has more than doubled over the course of the study.
Why are children moving away from soda? Researchers think that it might be because of the negative stigma around soda being linked to obesity. Though, they also think it might be that young people have developed a taste for energy and sugary coffee drinks leaving soda in the dust.
Young people may not be aware of just how much caffeine they are consuming. One study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest analyzed a 12-ounce coffee from Starbucks and found that it contained 260 milligrams of caffeine. That is 5 times the amount of caffeine in a 12-ounce diet coke.