Caffiene and Kids!

images47.jpgFrom energy drinks to sugary Starbucks concoctions, kids today are consuming more caffiene than ever.  But is it that big of deal? 

Angela Sharkey, MD, sees the kiddie caffiene trend at her local coffee shop in St. Louis, where teenagers line up before school for Mocha Frappuccinos and Caramel Macchiatos.  Over the past five years, Dr. Sharkey has treated more and more young people suffering with dizziness and fainting.  "The kids end up dehydrated because they haven't been drinking anything but caffeinated beverages all day."  OD'ing on caffiene can have scarier aftereffects.  At very high doses, the stimulant can cause a racing heart, heart palpitations, even seizures. 

But this isn't the only thing that concerns doctors.  With childhood obesity a national epidemic, doctors are dismayed to see new ways for kids to drink empty calories.  A single Java Chip Frappuccino with whipped cream packs 510 calories and 59 grams of sugar into 16 ounces!