A recent study has reported that although “mean caffeine intake has not
increased among children and adolescents in recent years,” “coffee and energy
drinks represent a greater proportion of caffeine intake as soda intake has
declined.” Amy Branum, et al., “Trends in Caffeine Intake Among U.S. Children
and Adolescents,” Pediatrics, February 2014. Using 24-hour dietary recall data
obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-
2010, researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found
that 73 percent of children consumed caffeine on a given day, with soda
accounting for the majority of caffeine intake throughout the study period.

“However, the proportion of intake attributable to soda declined from 62% in
1999-2000 to 38% in 2009-2010,” said the study’s authors. “Coffee accounted
for only 10% of caffeine intake in 1999-2000, but increased significantly to
nearly 24% of caffeine intake in 2009-2010… Energy drinks did not exist
as a category in 1999-2010, but represented nearly 6% of caffeine intake in
2009-2010.” In addition, tea has purportedly remained “the second largest
contributor to overall caffeine intake” among youth over the past 10 years.

Based on these results, the study ultimately questions whether recent
measures to reduce soda and juice consumption will cause children and
adolescents to view coffee or energy drinks as alternatives. “On average, a
12-oz serving of energy drink contains 36 g of sugar and ~160 calories, nearly
the same as a 12-oz can of soda,” conclude the authors. “However, the amount
of caffeine in energy drinks varies between brands and can be as high as
130 mg in a 12-oz serving, equivalent to four 12-oz servings of caffeinated
sodas… Future research should continue to monitor trends in energy drink
and coffee consumption among youth, as well as determine the potential
impact of these beverages on health outcomes.”


Issue 513

About The Author


For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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