The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 8, 2013

Be wary of caffeinated food

NORMAN — Food manufacturers say their caffeine-pumped food is intended for adults. Included in those foods are Jelly Belly “Extreme Sport Beans,” which have 50 mg of caffeine in each 100-calorie pack. A cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine.

You probably don’t see many grown-ups putting down their mugs of coffee and tea or even cans of cola in the morning to reach for a package of caffeinated jelly beans. And now that Wrigley’s has introduced a caffeinated gum, the Food and Drug Administration has decided to look at caffeine-laden foods and find out specifically how children’s health is affected.

The FDA already is studying the safety of energy drinks and energy shots because of reports of illness and death possibly associated with their consumption. Consumer Reports says some of the drinks contain much more than a cup of coffee. And the safe limit of caffeine for children is 45-85 grams a day.

Caffeine is a stimulant that needs to be treated as such. The FDA hasn’t tackled the issue much since the 1950s when soda companies were allowed to add caffeine to their products.

— The Mankato, Minn., Free Press

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