With the popularisation of coffee chains like SBUX (NASDAQ terms for starbucks FYI) , coffee bean and tea leaf & Costa coffee it would be hard not to pass-by any shopping malls which does not sell coffee. A quick search at Raffles City will prompt you at least 5 coffee houses specialising in coffee. It will not be a surprise when kids from age of 8 to 17 theses days drink coffee at least once a week. But do you know there are problems of kids being frequent drinkers of coffee?
Why it is bad?
Especially in young kids, it doesn’t take a lot of caffeine to produce these effects mentioned below.
1. Causes Cavities.
Coffee is acidic and causes a decrease in thickness of tooth enamel,and a change in texture, shape and appearance of the teeth, which may also cause teeth to become sensitive. Tooth enamel will soften with prolonged contact with acidic foods which might reveal the dentin underneath and will take years to get hardened. Not to mention, coffee also causes yellowing of teeth which in the long run will be hard to get rid of.
2. Irritate stomach
Coffee is acidic and with caffeine will irritate the lining of the stomach.When you drink coffee your stomach produces large amounts of hydrochloric acid (HCl). Too much stomach acid can cause pain that requires medication to inactivate the hydrochloric acid.
Kids with stomach ulcers, gastritis & Crohn’s disease should avoid it completely.
3. Decreases in appetite.
Growing children need more nutrition than adults. As an appetite suppressant, coffee is likely to make children eat less and miss out on essential proteins, nutrients & minerals needed for growth. Especially causes a big loss for magnesium.
4. Calcium loss.
Brittle bones. Coffee is a diuretic and it increases urine production. This in turn causes the loss of calcium from the body, which can lead to bone loss. For every 100 mg of caffeine ingested, 6 mg of calcium is lost. For children, calcium is essential for bone growth and excessive consumption of coffee will impede calcium production.
Restlessness will set in once caffeine wears off, reducing focus in children. The right amount of caffeine can help you focus, but too much might make you jittery, anxious, or irritable. There are some studies that states that coffee can help with children who suffer from ADHD. However, the effects vary from person to person and it will cause different effects in certain children.
In conclusion, although i am not a doctor who can give out advice, it will be safer to consume coffee after puberty or 16 years of age when the body’s makeup is more developed.