Kids and Caffeine

Nearly 3 out of every 4 children consume caffeine on any given day. That’s the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

And while kids and teens are consuming about the same amount of caffeine they were a decade ago, new research reveals their sources are changing.

Increasingly America’s youth are turning to coffee and energy drinks rather than sodas as their caffeinated beverage of choice.

Researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey which questioned children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 22. The data covered 1999 to 2010.

Approximately 73% consumed caffeine on any given day and while soda held onto the #1 spot throughout the decade, its share of the liquid pie dropped from 62% in 1999 to just 38% by 2010.

At the same time, coffee use rocketed up from 10% to nearly 24%. And energy drinks which didn’t even exist in 1999 grabbed nearly 6% of young caffeine-seeking taste buds by 2010.

The trend could be a cause for concern, warn researchers given that energy drinks and coffee tend to contain more caffeine, on average, than most carbonated beverages.

I’m Dr. Cindy Haines with health information for your entire family