“Chip, I’m going to come at you like a spider monkey. … I’m all jacked up on Mountain Dew.”
If your family dinner conversation is similar to that between 10-year-old Texas Ranger, son of Ricky Bobby in the movie Talladega Nights , and grandpa Chip, the problem may be excessive caffeine.
The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) is confirming its advice to parents and caregivers that energy drinks and energy shots containing caffeine are not for children and young teenagers, following completion of a risk profile on caffeine.
Public health principal advisor Donald Campbell said,
“The report has not found anything we didn’t already know: children and teenagers get caffeine from tea, kola drinks and coffee, and if they consume too much they could have effects like dizziness, rapid heartbeat, irritability, anxiety, tremors and insomnia. These products are labelled with their caffeine content, and just as you wouldn’t hand a child a double long black, you shouldn’t give them energy shots.
A single shot espresso coffee has around 80 mg of caffeine and a cafe latte 99 mg. Energy shots can have twice this level or more. A cup of tea has about 55 mg. A 50g milk chocolate bar has about 10mg.
NZFSA’s risk profile indicates that the temporary adverse effects can occur in some people when they consume about 3 mg of caffeine per kilogramme of body weight a day, which most adults would exceed if they had two single shot lattes or four cups of tea. There is no evidence of long-term harm in the general healthy adult population from caffeine consumption up to 400 mg per day.