The last thing little kids need is a dose of caffeine, but they still find a way to get their fix. While we aren't surprised that children are getting an extra dose of liquid energy, we are surprised at where it's coming from. A recent study found that the intake of coffee and energy drinks among kids has increased in the past year, while soda consumption has decreased. Conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, the study found that the portion of caffeine intake from coffee grew from 10 percent to 24 percent in the past 10 years. Though energy-drink consumption was not measured 10 years ago, it currently accounts for 6 percent of caffeine intake.
There is, however, a silver lining to this study. Over the past 10 years, caffeine intake from soda consumption has decreased from 62 percent to 38 percent. Many believe the decrease is a result of numerous anti-childhood-obesity campaigns, which identify soda as the main weight-gain culprit. Still, parents should make an effort to curb all caffeine consumption and not just that from soda. Though the Food and Drug Administration has yet to set a safe consumption level for children, it warns parents that excess consumptions can increase heart rate, blood pressure, hyperactivity, and anxiety.