Caffeinated Kids


This week I took my son to an open house at a local high school. And while the school was very impressive and boasts many academic achievements and state of the art equipment, the tour guide was very proud of the coffee bar for students. While the media center was admittedly impressive, I couldn’t help but wonder why a bunch of teens would need coffee. I love a good cup of coffee, probably more than I should, but does my 13-year-old need a hot ‘cup of Joe’ to get through math class?

A recent study to be published in the March issue of Pediatrics, published online this month, concluded that 73 percent of children consume caffeine on any given day. The overall caffeine intake has not increased in recent years, but the source of caffeine has changed. Less caffeinate sodas are being ingested, but more coffee and energy drinks.

The American Academy of Pediatrics maintains its position that stimulant-containing energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents. Concerns have been raised about the role of coffee and energy drinks as increasingly significant contributors of caffeine intake in children and adolescents.

Maybe we could have a juice bar in the high schools and save the coffee shops for college!

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