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Caffeine use among children is increasing.
Sodas as well as energy drinks are a major source of caffeine for kids. A recent study shows 29% of 7th and 8th graders can’t judge what has caffeine and what doesn’t.
Between 30% and 50% of teens and young adults reported using energy drinks. Energy drinks account for up to 58% of a person’s beverage budget for those on government assistance.
For Latinos, there are 22% more ads for energy drinks on Spanish radio as compared to English radio. This targeting to Latinos could increase future energy drink use in the Latino community.
Why is this a problem?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says caffeine might have health risks for kids.
Sodas, energy drinks, or other caffeinated drinks often have large amounts of sugar. Also, caffeine can reduce appetite so a child might be less likely to eat their daily energy requirements. Other health effects include trouble concentrating, upset stomach, faster heart rate, and raised blood pressure.
What can you do?
Consider replacing soda and energy drinks with water and low fat milk which provide greater hydration and nutrition to kids. Water can also be flavored with cut up fruits like strawberry, watermelon, or peaches.
Learn more about the effects of caffeine and ways to cut back here.
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By The Numbers
of Latino kids have had a sugary drink by age 2 (vs. 45% of white kids)