Caffeine is an important ingredient of soda drinks and coffee. If consumed regularly this is addictive. As per research, if a child consumes more than 100 mg of caffeine daily, he or she may have health problems. This chemical results in speeding up of heart beat, and also is a cause of sleeplessness and headache. It may cause sluggishness if not consumed at the normal time. To overcome the ill effect of caffeine the child has to consume another dose of soda or coffee which is similar to addiction.
For profit motive cola manufacturing companies are spending lots of money on advertisement. As per an estimate the two major companies in this industry are the largest advertisement spenders and have established brands worldwide. The advertisement campaign attracts children who get addicted slowly. There were times when children used to drink milk and juices. As a result of popularity of caffeine containing drinks that have become a fashion statement, children hang around soda dispensing machines and coffee shops.
This addiction of caffeine has resulted in increase in number of ADD and ADHD effected children. The child is unable to get proper sleep at night and is restless and jittery. This and the craving for caffeine make the child irritable and he lacks attention to studies and other activities. Caffeine, when it enters the human system, takes a minimum of four hours to break down fully, and the effect lasts for this time. In some cases it takes about 12 hours for elimination of caffeine from the human system and this process is slow in case of children as compared to adults. During this period the child may be unable to get proper sleep or rest.
There were times when for profit motive soda vending or coffee machines were installed in schools. However, as a result of enlightenment of parents and protests by parents associations considering the bad effects, many countries have banned the sale of soda and coffee in schools.
In addition to caffeine content in soda can, it also contains artificial sweeteners which have not been found suitable for child health. Also the presence of excessive sugar in soda is harmful for the digestive system of the child. This reduces intake of food and continuous consumption of sugar can result in excess of sugar in blood and urine of the child. The presence of phosphorus in soda neutralises calcium and may be a cause of osteoporosis in children, the incidents of which are increasing.
It is the duty of the parents to ensure that their child does not get addicted to caffeine containing drinks. They should discourage the child from consuming them and should encourage the child to drink milk and fruit juices. The child should be told about ill effects both in the short and long term.