Caffeine – Helpful or Harmful?

The three videos are united by a common thread: energy drinks are detrimental to children’s health (ABC, 2011; ABC, n.d.a; ABC, n.d.b). It has to do with the fact that unlike a 12-ounce serving of Pepsi or Coca-Cola that on average contains 36 milligrams of caffeine, a can of energy drink might provide a child with up to 400 milligrams of caffeine (ABC, n.d.b; Hart & Ksir, 2015). Another commonality in the videos is that the consumption of 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is dangerous for an adult (ABC, 2011; ABC, n.d.a; ABC, n.d.b).

The videos also reveal that the consumption of 100 milligrams of caffeine per day by a child is a cause of concern (ABC, 2011; ABC, n.d.a; ABC, n.d.b). In the same vein, Hart & Ksir (2015) note that unmoderated use of caffeinated products is associated with harmful reproductive effects. For example, pregnant women who consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day are at higher risk of miscarriage (Hart & Ksir, 2015).

Given that caffeine is the most common psychoactive substance in the world, it is a problem that has to be addressed. There is ample evidence suggesting that caffeine increases the risk of heart disease (Hart & Ksir, 2015). Irritability, nervousness, and insomnia are other effects of the immoderate use of the substance.

The videos also suggest that energy drinks are not regulated by FDA because they are positioned as supplements. Therefore, it stands to reason to ask how to restrict consumption of energy drinks by children?

References

ABC. (2011). Are energy drinks safe for children? [Video file]. Web.

ABC. (n.d.a). Can teens handle energy drink? [Video file]. Web.

ABC. (n.d.b). Dr. Richard Besser caffeine warning for parents [Video file]. Web.