DENVER (CBS4) – A new study found that nearly three out of four American children consume caffeine each day.
While there’s been a decrease in the amount of soda they drink, they’re turning to other beverages even higher in caffeine.
High school students are quick to admit their diet includes caffeine. In fact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers estimate 73 percent of American children consume some level of caffeine each day.
Soda is still the top choice, but it’s on the decline. Now children get 24 percent of their caffeine from coffee and six percent from caffeine heavy energy drinks.
Caffeinated drinks are stimulants and not without worrisome side effects.
“Increased anxiety, increased nervousness and potentially significant sleep problems,” Dr. Roger Barkin said.
Barkin is in emergency medicine at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
“I think caffeine in moderation is probably not the worst thing for kids,” he said.
But Barkin says too many caffeinated drinks can lead to trouble.
“In incredible excess they cause cardiac problems, they cause seizures, they cause obviously major behavioral issues, so they can be dangerous,” he said.
Doctors, however, say drink water and healthy juices instead, and if children need an energy boost they should try getting it from exercise.
While soda was the most common source of caffeine for young children and teens, tea was number one for children up to age 5.
The decline in soda intake can be attributed to many schools no longer offering sugary soft drinks because of obesity concerns.