Caffeine emerging favorite among US kids, teens

The most popular drug consumed by American kids is not Ritalin, alcohol or marijuana, but it’s caffeine. And the most glaring exposure is that they are getting them from coffee instead of cola or soda.

The report issued by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that nearly 3 out of 4 children and young adults are consuming at least some amount of caffeine.

The amount of caffeine kids get from coffee rose from 10 percent in 2000 to 24 percent in 2010, the report said.

The study looked at 22,000 U.S. children and teenagers ages 2 to 22.

The study was published in the journal “Pediatrics”, the journal of the Academy of Pediatrics.


During the study, the researchers found that kids and young adults between the age group 2 and 22 are getting a bigger share of their caffeine through coffee.

Soda, that had been the most popular source of caffeine since ages, is losing its fizz. The share of caffeine kids received from soda declined to 38% from 62% between 2004 and 2010, the report found.

Lead author Amy Branum says, “Coffee has changed dramatically over the last 10 years in terms of the variety and availability.”

Experts say, coffee is making a comeback in the United States. The consumers begin to view it as a delicacy, they say. Health analysts say the craze for coffee might be growing among children due to frappuccinos and similar drinks.

  • MaureenABA

    What this study does reaffirm is that caffeine intake in the United States has
    remained stable throughout the last decade. What’s more, children and
    adolescents consume less caffeine than they have in previous years, including soda intake among this age group, which has declined substantially.

    While this article notes that energy drinks account for only 6 percent of caffeine intake, it’s important to add that there is nothing to compare this number to, since these beverages were not measured in 1999 2000. Moreover, while energy drink consumption by children and adolescents continues to be a prevalent topic in mainstream media, this study’s data shows virtually no caffeine consumption from energy drinks among children under 12 and extremely low consumption for adolescents aged 12 to 18.

    In sum, while there are certainly good discussions taking place about the role of caffeine in the food supply, it’s essential that we let the facts drive the conversation; not emotion. – Maureen Beach, American Beverage Association