SALT LAKE CITY — Caffeine is a substance many adults depend on to stay awake during long hours and busy days. It turns out, that habit is trickling down to their kids.
Although the rate of consumption has not changed, the ways kids are getting their caffeine has.
According to a new study in Pediatrics, kids are drinking lots of caffeinated soda, but their primary way to get their caffeine has shifted to energy drinks and coffee. According to the report, 17- and 18-year-olds are drinking double the amount of coffee they were 10 years ago.
“Adolescents are not always aware of how much caffeine they’re drinking,” wrote Allison Aubrey at National Public Radio. “The Center for Science in the Public Interest took a look at several popular items and analyzed their caffeine content. It found that a 12-ounce cup of coffee from Starbucks contains about 260 milligrams of caffeine, which is roughly five times as much as a 12-ounce can of Diet Coke.”
Medical News Today reported the FDA was looking into concerns about caffeine and children, including products that added the substance — such as jelly beans and gum. The FDA has not yet set a safe rate of caffeine consumption for kids and teens. Despite this uncertainty, the Pediatrics study revealed that 73 percent of children and adolescents consume caffeine each day.
“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,” the Academy said.