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Caffeine and Teens: A Growing Habit

When I was a little kid and reached for my mom's cup of joe, she told me that coffee would stunt my growth. That false myth no longer holds sway with the youth of today, and the coffee habit it in young teens is soaring. While coffee might not stunt growth, it is habit forming and these kids are not drinking their java straight up. Nope they often drink coffee in its most sugary forms like caramel lattes and frappuccinos.

A major concern is that teenagers are substituting coffee for much needed nutritious meals for their still growing bodies. Replacing breakfast with a cup of coffee is not only a bad idea, it is a bad diet idea that many teenage girls are using. Remember you need breakfast to fire up your metabolism.

Caffeine, by itself, is not particularly harmful, and may even have some health benefits. It can, however, increase anxiety something most teenagers can produce enough of on their own.

I started drinking coffee when I was about 16 - something about being able to drive made drinking coffee seem appropriate to me. How about you? When did you start drinking joe regularly? Let me know in the comments below.


Join The Conversation
SinyeeElf SinyeeElf 5 years
I started when I was 12~ Last year, drinking mocha and latte mostly, and sometimes my mom's unknown-coffee~
Austin-Dormagen Austin-Dormagen 8 years
I am 15 and I always have to have caffeine or i get extreme headaches and stuff, and I have been drinking Energy drinks, Coffee, and such as long as I can remember....As well as the first I've had a Red Bull when I was about 5 Years of Age.
lovelie lovelie 10 years
Not until I went to college. Sure I'd have a cup of flavored once in a while before then, but you really begin to appreciate it's affects while your sitting in the library at 2:00 in the morning.
shafiii shafiii 10 years
at 13 i started drinking coffee atleast once every 1 or 2 weeks. it doesnt help that i have a starbucks in my town.
jkat jkat 10 years
I started drinking "coffee" in high school. Like the study suggests, I was partial to the fraps and the lattes. I think that they should do a study to determine whether high school kids change their coffee form of choice as they age. In college - and definitely - in law school, I needed coffee straight up, with some skim milk and equal. As a lawyer I still enjoy my real coffee in the morning. It is full of antioxidants :-)
ktacce ktacce 10 years
just like bizzybee, i hung out with an artsy crowd in high school (as one would expect, since i went to an art high school) and started drinking it there... i was a regular at caribou coffee on weekend-nights. but, since then i've tried hard not to do it except on special occasions. (this morning, though, work gave us free $3 starbucks cards so I'm guilty of a caramel light frappicino for the day... eek! i totally bet the light part didn't help much... but at least i'm making the healthy chicken pileup from yumsugar for dinner for my parents tonight!) wow i got off on a tangent there, gotta love the parenthesis! it seems like coffee should be a treat! and i try and look at it like that... nobody wants a caffine addiction!
mizz_jennii mizz_jennii 10 years
I started drinking coffee when I was about 12 years old. I came home from an oversea's vacation the night before school started and I knew I wouldn't be able to adjust to the time change. So mom suggested a cup of coffee in the morning and eversince I have been hooked!! The only time I don't have coffee is when I'm at the fiance's house, he doesn't drink it so it's not around. But I still make him run out to Dunkin Donuts :)
nhancieh522 nhancieh522 10 years
I cant even remember when I started drinking coffee, but i also replace breakfast with coffee now that I read this thanks fitsugar, coffee is very relaxing for me, helps me be awake when im having a review too... I like it brewed...
ilovecandyfloss ilovecandyfloss 10 years
I probably started around 14 or 15, when it was the supreme height of sophistication to sit around Starbucks until closing time on Friday nights, sipping on bizarre concoctions of sugar, cream and maybe a little dash of coffee, haha. Usually vanilla or mocha flavored too, now that I think about it. I actually stopped drinking my daily morning coffee for a month or two at the beginning of the year, and I've realised that its not the caffeine rush that I love, it really is the flavour and aroma. MMmmmmm...
allthingsgrow allthingsgrow 10 years
17, but I got addicted once I turned 18. My dad was so adament against my addiction, he refused to teach me how to use his extremely fancy (and expensive!) espresso machine - until I asked my dad's fiancee, and now he's stopped trying to fight the inevitable. =]
page6lovers page6lovers 10 years
i started in the middle of my sophomore year, when i decided that i should stop faking my way through school and i would be more productive if i stopped sleeping. i never reallly liked the taste much, so i switched to diet soda and energy drinks (like 5-10 a day). the addiction still hasn't gone away, and when i try to stop the withdrawal headaches are too intense to handle.
Ladoline Ladoline 10 years
i definately started when i was 11 or 12....i'm 19 now and i'm the same height i was in 7th grade, 5'4". [i blame genetics] but i'm unfortunately very addicted to caffiene and i get pounding headaches if i don't get a daily dose.
gingereg gingereg 10 years
Also, I just have to throw this in there, the new iced coffees at mcdonalds are surprisingly delicious and great for the summer heat. Sorry I'm so scatter-brained and couldn't say this all in one post...let's blame it on the coffee.
gingereg gingereg 10 years
I also have to say, when I re-started drinking coffee again a while ago, I was astonished at the appetite suppressant it was. I didn't remember that ever happening from before. Even now I just realized that it's almost one o'clock in the afternoon here and I haven't had anything to eat...just my ginormous, bottomless coffee. And I was wondering why I was feeling sluggish and tired...maybe cause I forgot to eat! But now my stomach is too upset to feel like I want to put anything in it! AGH! I've got to get this under control...
gingereg gingereg 10 years
I really didn't start drinking it until college when I would have to stay up all night to study and write. Then I got off it and switched to hot tea for a while...but within the past few months I've started it up again to get me moving in the morning. I was literally just thinking that I needed to switch back to green tea when I saw this. I can tell when I wake up now that I'm craving some kind of caffiene...not a good sign.
Retro-Bunny Retro-Bunny 10 years
I started drinking coffee when I was about, 11 or 12. I've always loved drinking coffee, and I never really thought it was a bad idea. To be honest, I'd rather see teens drinking coffee, than soda pop. It doesn't stunt your growth either, for anyone who's doubting. When I started drinking coffee regularly, I was 5'8-5'9. I'm 6'0 now, and only 16. (For the record, children in France and Italy are giving cafe-au-lait or lattes when they're very young children. It's fine there.)
KaseyGirl KaseyGirl 10 years
I started drinking it when I was very young - 5 or 6 yrs old. My mom and her family were excessive coffee drinkers so it was always around. she always made sure to make a "coffee milk" type drink for my brother and I. It was about 70% milk, and 30% coffee, with very little sugar. But once I got into high school and college, I was drinking a few cups a week. I'm not an addict, but I do appreciate a good cup with dessert or right when I wake up in the morning.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 10 years
This is so funny because I was just trying to explain to my friend in England about how it was the "cool" thing to do in high school if you waltzed in before school started with a venti blah blah blah in hand from Starbucks along with four other drinks for your friends! I too, did that once in a while when I was in high school but I don't drink Starbucks anymore because their coffee is overpriced and crap. Instead, I enjoy a nice espresso after dinner now and then ... also my boyfriend just got a ridiculously expensive cafetiere so I usually have a nice cup of coffee when I go over to his. I drink wayyy more tea than coffee, however.
catander catander 10 years
*not bad for you. sorry about the typo!
catander catander 10 years
i adore coffee! coffee, if you're not drinking an excessive amount of it, is not bad for, and i would also add that i do not consider frappuchinos and the like coffee. many frappuchinos don't have any coffee in them at all! when people talk about the starbucks drinks loaded with calories, they generally aren't talking about anything that contains much actual coffee at all. i mean, who puts whipped cream on his/her americano??
tati33 tati33 10 years
Let's Central America..when I would visit, we would have coffee but I actually felt it tasted disgusting... However, if you ask me when I started going to Starbucks, Coffee Bean, etc..It was by the end of my first year of college when I was 18. Sure I drank the colas here and there..but since college I've had the coffee when i have a really bad headache..i head to Starbuck's probably a bad idea. :(
Curious-Alice Curious-Alice 10 years
I first drank coffee sometime during high school, and I remain very much an avid lover of what I find to be a delicious treat. Like anything else, the use of coffee can certainly be abused. I think it's best to monitor all of one's addictions and bad habits, think about your reasons for them, and try and find healthier alternatives. As long as it isn't abused, drinking coffee can be a wonderful indulgence and a healthy part of a balanced diet.
juiceejuice juiceejuice 10 years
i rarely drink coffee. i don't like the taste. plus i'm caffeine sensitive. but i do like the smell of coffee.
rachelbojangles rachelbojangles 10 years
I was drinking coffee when I was like 8. I loved how it tastes. I rarely drink it now. Maybe once a month but it just makes me jittery and makes my stomach hurt. I see all these little girls coming into my work with Starbucks in hand. It's really disgusting and they don't need it.
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