of us wake up in the morning with only one thought
on our mind....coffee!
ones questions the little perk that morning coffee
provides. In fact, research supports many positives
for caffeine use, including an improvement in long-term
memory and faster learning.(1).
But the research uses moderate amounts of caffeine
and it doesn't take into consideration the problems
young nervous systems encounter with chronic caffeine
use. Caffeine mimics a neural chemical which our body
produces naturally. Continuous use of caffeine will
cause the body's own system to quit making the neural
chemical - after all, why bother producing it in the
body, when you are providing it artificially.
addiction to caffeine is now becoming more than just
an adult problem. We see it moving into younger and
younger populations via soft drink consumption which
has increased dramatically in the last decade and
a half. The use of caffeine in youth causes a greater
concern as the developing nervous system needs to
learn how to produce and balance its own natural neural
chemicals. Providing them artificially during this
time causes confusion.
much caffeine are American(2) children getting? Here's
a brief comparison:(3)
cup of coffee has 135 mgs. of caffeine.
One can of Mountain Dew - 56 mgs.
One cup of tea - 50 mgs.
One can of Diet Coke - 47 mgs.
One can of Sunkist Orange - 42 mgs.
One can of Dr. Pepper - 42 mgs.
One can of Pepsi - 38 mgs.
One can of Coke - 35 mgs.
Excedrin pain reliever tablet - 65 mgs.
One cup Ben & Jerry's coffee yogurt - 85 mgs.
One Hershey Bar - 10 mgs.*
asked frequently about the caffeine in chocolate.
As you can see a child would have to consume 14 chocolate
bars to get the caffeine amount in a cup of coffee.
I think a child eating 14 chocolate bars has a bigger
problem than caffeine consumption.
of the increase we see in childhood consumption of
caffeine must be blamed on the availability of the
products in our schools. At some point during the
last 10 years many of our public schools began to
actually depend upon soft drink sales as a major source
the concerns of caffeine use on the developing nervous
system, we can now add the National Institute of Health's
statement blaming America's obesity on increased soft
drink consumption and the new research now linking
the high phosphorus content of soft drinks with robbing
our bones of calcium - of particular concern to young
is protecting our children? We are the nation's educators.
If we don't take a stand, who will?
Hameleers, P.(2000). Human Psychopharmacology Clinical
Experimental, Vol 15(8) 573-581.
The USA is one of a handful of countries in the world
soft drink manufacturers to add caffeine to soft drinks.
Center for Science in the Public Interest.