Teenagers have been increasingly consuming caffeinated drinks, and need to gain more information about the potential harmful health effects, according to a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour.
It is known that caffeine comes with both health benefits and negative repercussions. Evidence has shown that foods rich in caffeine like coffee can be quite salubrious. On the other hand, excessive consumption thereof is associated with unwanted effects like nervousness, anxiety, and increased heart, among others. In spite of the increasing body of research documenting these effects, not all who indulge in caffeinated drinks are aware of this information. Teenagers specially might need to learn more about caffeine.
Statistics show that teenagers are increasingly taking to caffeinated drinks. Coffee is assumed to be the main one, but other drinks like tea, iced tea, and sodas also contain significant amounts of the drug.
How to know how much is too much? 100-400 mg of caffeine consumed by children and adolescents might be enough to cause these signs, according to Mayo Clinic State. What is disturbing is that many adolescents are actually consuming from 60 to 800 mg of caffeine per day. When researchers from Brescia University College in Ontario, Canada investigated the beliefs and attitudes of teenagers pertaining to caffeine, they found that 44.6 % of them consumed from 1 to 6 times per week, and 11.4% had a caffeinated drink daily. The participants reported that they took to these beverages to be more alert so that they could study better.
It appears that media in its varying forms promote the consumption of such drinks – needless to say, teenagers absorb this information, and are influenced to follow suit. Social norms also play a role in making teens want to drink caffeinated drinks.
Another finding is that most teens are not knowledgeable of the caffeine content of tea and soft drinks.
The researchers, therefore, conclude that young people need to be educated further so that they are armed with knowledge to be able to make better decisions revolving around the intake of caffeine.