Author: Tate Fonda
Starbucks. Dunkin Donuts. Tim Hortons. Pepsi-Cola. It’s not difficult to find a source when looking for the world’s most widely used drug. It surrounds us-- no matter where we are-- and we’re guaranteed a cold soda or a warm coffee in every corner of the industrial world. It’s not locationally difficult to find the means to develop a dependency-- and little distinction is made when dollar-cups and fancy-frappuccinos range in prices for any buyer.
Of particular interest to researchers are modern children, surrounded by jitter-inducing sodas, chocolates, and energy drinks. An early onset caffeine dependency can create a corporate “trap”-- formed by exciting commercials and flashy labels-- that entrances young children into buying the caffeine-filled products through adulthood. Mindfully or unconsciously recognizant of the way they feel during consumption, they are led to crave the energetic state they associated with the product. Though it is therefore true that this dependency can be costly, this isn’t of the greatest concern to researchers.
In a pediatric study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was reported that 73 percent of children consume caffeine daily. Soda, energy drinks, coffee and tea were specifically considered (Branum, 2014). Unique caffeine-induced effects in children in contrast to adults aren’t entirely known, but the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends against any use in young diets. Along with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the AAP urges the FDA to restrict selling and marketing energy drinks to children. It is known that the drug has a specific impact on the central nervous system, stimulating its function and a user’s alertness. In children, the effects on blood pressure and sleep concern researchers as they are reflected in changes of mood and worsening anxiety (AAFP).
It’s difficult for any child with a standard diet to avoid caffeine-- hidden in products such as yogurt, protein bars, and ice cream. Nonetheless, limiting consumption to a mindfully minimal amount can help protect unfavorable fluctuations in mood and feelings of anxiety. As research develops, corporations will continue to look to the FDA to protect developing minds from interfering substances.
American Academy of Family Physicians. (2017, September 7). Caffeine and kids. familydoctor.org. https://familydoctor.org/caffeine-and-kids/
Branum, A. M., Rossen, L. M., & Schoendorf, K. C. (2014). Trends in caffeine intake among US children and adolescents. PEDIATRICS, 133(3), 386-393. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-2877
Franz12 via Getty Images: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/teenagers-coffee_ca_5e3c557cc5b6b70886fc2894