Recently, there has been an increase in calls for the Food and Drug Administration to regulate caffeine. Recent fatalities which consumers allege occurred in conjunction with energy drinks have ensured that these calls have gotten louder in the past couple months, and the FDA will have a decision to make in the near future.
A new report from National Public Radio looked into the burgeoning caffeine issue, which doesn’t just affect beverages. With things like Perky Jerky and caffeinated Cracker Jacks coming to or already on the market, more and more items are being made with heightened levels of caffeine. A member of the Center for Science in the Public Interest explains that no longer is caffeine relegated to just sodas and coffee. He is one of the proponents of the FDA placing rules on caffeine levels.
The FDA currently does not force product manufacturers to outline caffeine levels on labeling or marketing materials. Some would like this to change in light of the impact that excessive levels of caffeine could have on teenagers. Although adults have largely been shown to handle high amounts of caffeine well, this isn’t the case with all teenagers, especially if those developing adolescents have pre-existing heart conditions.
No matter what happens, we must remember that caffeine is a drug. Parents should monitor the caffeine intake of their kids, and even watch their own consumption if they feel safety is compromised.