FDA investigates foods with added caffeine - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

FDA investigates foods with added caffeine

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Caffeine comes in many forms. Coffee, you're probably familiar with but what about caffeinated jelly beans and chewing gum?

"It definitely looks...I would say it looks kid friendly," said mom, Ginger Armstrong.

Her 9-year-old daughter is exactly who the Food and Drug Administration wants to prevent from consuming these products.

As a response to the "Alert" gum, the FDA is investigating foods with added caffeine and their possible health impact on children and adolescents.

Armstrong said, "Caffeine is something we restrict in our family, especially for her, but if we're out and she wants to have a soda, I'm okay with that."

Ginger's not okay with the caffeinated gum.

"Even some of the coffee drinks, seems like some of them are marketed more toward the pre-teen. She's nine going on 18 probably, but she sees it as oh, that's something for me instead of something that just used to be for adults," said Armstrong.

Jelly Belly now offers consumers "sport beans."

"I actually tried that...I actually got introduced to that by my CrossFit coaches...Definitely gives you a kick," said Douglas Burgos, who usually just drinks coffee.

Burgos said, "If I'm on the go, things like this, iced coffee. This one's actually made with coconut water."

He is, however, open to getting his jolt of energy from other sources.

"Yea, I probably would. I probably would. I'm an early adapter," Burgos said.

"Caffeine is not really well tested in children, so we don't really know what it's effects might be," said Dr. Stephen Pont, with Dell Children's Hospital.

He says adults should be okay to consume caffeine, in moderation.

"I think we'd all agree that it looks like something that kids are going to want to buy," said Dr. Pont. "That scares me because this is not a product for children."

He says anyone can have negative reactions to the various caffeine products on the market, like stomach issues and allergies.

"This is an artificial products, additives, colors and other sweeteners that might make your body respond to differently than if you were taking it in a cup of coffee," said Dr. Pont. "The energy drinks are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for no children to consume. We don't think there's any safe level."

For kids, he says a sports drink, like Gatorade, is okay, but only if your child is involved in a high intensity sport.

The best solution, for everyone, is always plenty of sleep and water.

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