4/18/2007

The Caffeinated Nation

I have 2 kids, age 12 and 8. My general rule is not letting them drink anything contains caffeine, in fear of caffeine may interfere with children's neurological development. But if the current national trend continue, I may have to relax the rule a bit pretty soon. According to an article published in http://www.usnews.com/ (4/23/2007), in the past 3 years alone, the number of 18-to-24-year-olds who drink coffee daily has doubled, from 16% to 32%. In order to keep up with their java-fired schedule, many young people drink not only coffee, but also other energy drinks with several times the buzz of can of Coke.

Energy drinks like Red Bull and Cocaine is now a $3.5 billion-a-year industry in US. Starbucks, once considered a gourmet's treat, now boast 9,401 stores in US, and has focused growth on economically struggling neighborhoods.

According to the same article, although scientist have never studied how caffeine affects growing bodies and brains, many research done on adults are sending out good news.

For example, Harvard researchers found in 2005 that drinking 6 cups of coffee or more daily cut the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 50% in men, and 30% in women. One study of 80,000 women showed that those who who drank more than 2 or 3 cups of coffee daily reduced their risk of suicide over 10 yeas by 1/3 - we can all drink (one cup coffee) to that news!

By the way, any reader interested in the caffeinated doughnuts, bagel and lip balm?

8 comments:

IYUNG PAHAN said...

Drink coffee is not good for your heart. Caffeine can influence heart electric pulse and cause arrythmia. In Indonesia, some people use dark coffee as medium to contact with dead man soul and ghost.

The Old Man Charon said...

those statistics are so encouraging - i am glad that i am not the only one addicted to caffeine in the 18-24 age group ---- oh, wait, when i was in college i didn't know a single 18-24 year old not addicted to caffeine. that stuff is more addictive than most drugs, it just isn't as bad for us. thats why we love coffee, and chocolate, and caffeinated tea, and almost anything else which gives us that sweet sensation of love.

Christina said...

Sure, the caffeine might prevent diabetes, but all of that sugar in your double-chocolate caramel mocha with whipped cream on top probably does more to hasten it.

CoachRatliff said...

I have heard that caffeine could help calm children with ADHD. Maybe you can find the numbers to prove or disprove this?

thejunkyswife said...

mmmm....cofffeeeeeee

Damsel said...

This makes me feel less guilty for my increased caffeine habit... which always happens toward the end of the school year. Then I suffer headaches and exhaustion as I wean myself off of it at the beginning of June.

I will say that having kids in class who drink this stuff can be insane -- both when they're overstimulated from the caffeine and when they crash from it.

Love the numbers. :)

Damsel said...

And it's true that stimulants are used to treat ADD/ADHD. I did a semester's worth of independent study research for one of my college courses. Very interesting stuff!

Joel said...

As someone who apparently suffers from ADHD (I was "professionally" diagnosed)coffee does help hone my focus, however, there are huge downfalls that come with it. Like Ritalin or Aderol or any of those other drugs which are presribed to ADHD patients, there are huge crashes when the drugs wear off and coffee is no different. But you don't need to have attention problems for you to know that energy drinks and coffee often times leave you even more tired than before you had a cup. Constantly using caffeine has also been linked to increased anxiety, irritability and can even cause impotence in men. Take it from me if you want energy or you want to solve attention problems, change your eating habits. The human brain operates much like a piece of machinery. That is to say you must properly maintain it by supplying it with nutritious foods and plenty of good old fashioned water.