Children Prefer Coffee, Energy Drinks Over Soda

The number of children drinking soda has gone down over decade, but consumers of coffee and energy drinks are going up

By Andrew Lopez
|  Monday, Feb 10, 2014  |  Updated 11:22 PM PDT
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Kids are getting caffeine from places you might not expect, but is caffeine really bad for children? New findings show that children and adolescents are drinking less caffeinated soda, but they are taking in more caffeine through energy drinks and coffee. Dr. Bruce Hensel reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014.

Dr. Bruce Hensel

Kids are getting caffeine from places you might not expect, but is caffeine really bad for children? New findings show that children and adolescents are drinking less caffeinated soda, but they are taking in more caffeine through energy drinks and coffee. Dr. Bruce Hensel reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014.

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 Kids aren’t drinking as much soda as they did a decade ago, but that doesn’t mean they are consuming less caffeine.

Energy drink and coffee consumption are on the rise for children and adolescents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers looked at minors from 1999 to 2010 and found that 73 percent of children under 18 consumed caffeine on any given day.

While there are no proven health risks related to caffeine, NBC4’s chief medical editor and correspondent Dr. Bruce Hensel said it can make kids jittery and interfere with their schooling, especially if they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Hensel recommends that kids shouldn’t drink any caffeine.

If a child is already a mass consumer of caffeine, Hensel recommends cutting the amount in half for two weeks, then cutting the amount in half again for a month in order to reduce cravings.

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