We often hear people saying that caffeine stunts growth. You see everyone telling their children to avoid drinking coffee because it might curb their growth.
- Growth of a child
- Child Growth and Development
- Does weed stunt growth?
- Will coffee stunt growth
- Can caffeine stunt growth
Is there any truth in what they say? I don’t think so because scientific studies do not support their claims.
The caffeine present in coffee causes some undesirable side effects, but it does not affect the growth of children. A lot of studies have been done to debunk this myth. These studies showed that caffeine mildly upsets your stomach and slows down the absorption of calcium in the body. However, the body notices the problem and tries to compensate the change in calcium absorption. The study recommends that a coffee user should take a tablespoon of calcium a day to compensate the slight side effect.
A study was conducted on girls of different age groups. They were given 25 to 50 mg caffeine for a six-year period. The study did not find any significant problem with their bone health.
I would like to mention that caffeine is widely used in neonatal care. It is given to babies who are born prematurely to improve their breathing. Doctors would never prescribe it for infants if it could stunt growth.
There is no evidence to suggest that it stunts growth. However, new research has discovered some undesirable effects of coffee. It has been observed that small doses of caffeine can cause blood pressure and heart problem. Researchers have found that stimulation caused by caffeine disturbs the blood pressure in boys. Research tells caffeinated drinks should be allowed to children only after they reach their teens.
The study to know the effects of caffeine was conducted on 52 children aged 8-9 and 49 children aged 15-17. The stimulant’s effects were visibly noticed in boys between children aged 15-17, though slow heart rate and increased blood pressure were seen in all children. The study’s lead author Jennifer Temple, who is an an associate professor at the University of Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, said low doses slowed down the heart while higher doses sped it up.
Temple said that they could only establish the effects of caffeine on the cardiovascular system. Researchers said that they had not been able to find out the long term effects of caffeine in children.
The study also showed the stimulant effect caused by caffeine has no health benefits and parents should not allow kids to use caffeinated products.
Research on caffeine has established that it should be consumed in moderation. It has also made it clear that the myth that caffeine stunt growth is false. The popularity of caffeinated drinks among children is alarming because this fluid is not required by their body. Dr. Steven Lipshultz lamented that people don’t realize that energy drinks pump the blood pressure level of their kids.