The overall caffeine intake of children has not increased in recent years, but the sources of caffeine have changed. Children are drinking less caffeinated soda, but they are drinking more energy drinks and coffee. Authors of a study in the March 2014 issue of Pediatrics, “Trends in Caffeine Intake Among U.S. Children and Adolescents,” (published online Feb. 10) examined dietary data from the 1999-2010 NHANES and concluded that 73 percent of children consumed caffeine on a given day. And while caffeine intake has not increased, the American Academy of Pediatrics maintains a position that stimulant-containing energy drinks have no place in the diets of children and adolescents. This study raises concern about the role of energy drinks and coffee as increasingly significant contributors to caffeine intake among children and adolescents. The authors conclude that this study provides a baseline for caffeine intake among U.S. children and young adults as additional research is conducted to monitor trends in this area.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.