The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it will begin to study the effects of caffeinated foods on children.
The foods — from energy drinks to more recently released caffeinated gum — have become a subject of health concerns, the Associated Press reports.
The study comes after a series of energy drink health issues led to a formal investigation. A report released in January showed that the number of hospitalizations correlated with energy drink consumption doubled between 2007 and 2011.
The only product that is formally approved to contain added caffeine is cola. That was approved by the FDA in the 1950s. The recent growth of caffeine-added food products has never been approved or subject to study.
“We’re concerned about whether they have been adequately evaluated,” says Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner.
Companies that sell products with added caffeine downplay any risk. A spokeswoman for Wrigley — makers of the newly available caffeinated chewing gum — said that the product is for the use of adults only. “Millions of Americans consume caffeine responsibly and in moderation as part of their daily routines,” Denise Young says.
More stories about caffeine:
- Death Wish Coffee: Drink at Your Own Risk
- Mountain Dew Rolls Out a New Breakfast Drink
- This Isn’t Your Father’s Cracker Jacks