Is Your Child Hooked on Caffeine?

Is Your Child Hooked on Caffeine?

By Hwaa Irfan

Have you ever thought about how much caffeine your children consumes or has it never occurred to you – after all caffeine is what one gets from coffee. Adding caffeine to many products probably helps a child to become “addicted” to the product, therefore providing regular customers for the food industry. Not only that, the food industry helps to create nagging children who pester their parents for that all important drink or chocolate that they must have before anything reasonable is able to prevail. Exploring the number of products that contain caffeine is quite alarming for example:

  • Black tea made with distilled/tap water – 4000mg
  • Brewed/expresso coffee (restaurant) 21202mg
  • Instant coffee 2608mg
  • Instant coffee, decaffeinated 109mg
  • Carbonated/soft drinks (low calorie) 3000mg
  • Carbonated/soft drinks (low calorie) popular brands with sodium saccharin e.g. cola 2200mg
  • Carbonated/soft drinks (low calorie) popular brands with aspartame 1200mg
  • Energy drinks, Red Bull, sugar free 1200mg
  • Cocoa (powder) unsweetened 202mg
  • Dark chocolate 27-30mg
  • Sweet chocolate 26mg

According to psychology professor Dr. William Warzak of the University of Nebraska Medical Center:

“Some children as young as 5 years old were consuming the equivalent of a can of soda a day.”

“Children between the ages of 8 and 12 years consumed an average of 109 mg a day – the equivalent of almost 3 12-ounce cans of soda.”

Children aged 5 – 7 were found to be consuming 52mg daily, which is higher than the level that is said to affect adults! Most of the caffeine consumed was obtained from soft drinks, and the more they consumed, the less they slept, which in turn affected school performance, and increases the likelihood of obesity.

The problem with caffeine being consumed by children is the accumulative affect. In 1998, when consumption was less, one psychiatric report at the National Institute of Mental Health, U.S., found that 8- 13 year olds who had a regular consumption of caffeine were found to be more restless at school, and a third of those fell under the diagnostic criteria for attention deficit. In another study of high income earners living in New York, children it was found that children who drank the equivalent of 3-4 cups of coffee on a daily basis had more “uncontrollable energy of some were misdiagnosed as having Attention Deficit Disorder with hyperactivity, ADHD. Fifth and sixth graders who were deprived of caffeine for a day (their typical consumption being 28mg daily) in a Stanford study had withdrawal symptoms of anger lack of energy, and an inability to concentrate.

When large amount of coffee is consumed, the body responds by excreting a lot of calcium and magnesium – two minerals needed by a growing body to help the formation of healthy bones. In the modern American diet, which is becoming the global diet, the needed calcium is less likely to be replaced because children are less likely to drink calcium rich food and drink. This may explain the growing problem of rickets occurring amongst 1 in 5 British children. Then to add to the problem, the phosphoric acid content in cola drinks can lead to fractures of the bone, and erode the teeth enamel.


If you want to know which food and drink contain caffeine and how much try Nutrition Data


Elsevier Health Sciences (2010, December 17). Caffeine negatively affects children: Most consume caffeine daily.­ /releases/2010/12/101216073209.htm

Foods Highest in Caffeine

Mann, D. “Caffeine Intake Among Children Equivalent to Nearly 3 Cans of Soda a Day.”

Painter, F.M. “Children and the Caffeine Culture.”

“Should Caffeine Be Consumed By Children?”


Related Topics:

Watch What You Eat!

Meat By Any Means

The Milk You’re Supposed to Drink

The Problem with Precocious Puberty

Why Boys are Becoming Girls, and Men are…

Mindfulness and Adolescence

Nature Helps Our Brain Connect!

Your Children and Sleep Deprivation

3 thoughts on “Is Your Child Hooked on Caffeine?

  1. This really is a great, insightful piece of content that you have written. I’ve been expending major time currently investigating the consequences of caffeine and just how to experience it. I am hoping to see more of your webblog shortly.

  2. Pingback: Is Your Child Hooked on Caffeine? « Hwaairfan's Blog «

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