Deakin University
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Australian children's consumption of caffeinated, formulated beverages: a cross-sectional analysis

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kelsey Beckford, Carley GrimesCarley Grimes, Lynn RiddellLynn Riddell
BACKGROUND: Caffeine is a common additive in formulated beverages, including sugar-sweetened beverages. Currently there are no data on the consumption of caffeinated formulated beverages in Australian children and adolescents. This study aimed to determine total intake and consumption patterns of CFBs in a nationally representative sample of Australian children aged 2-16 years and to determine contribution of CFBs to total caffeine intake. Consumption by day type, mealtime and location was also examined.

METHODS: Dietary data from one 24-hour recall collected in the 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey were analysed. CFBs were defined as beverages to which caffeine has been added as an additive, including cola-type beverages and energy drinks. Socioeconomic status was based on the highest level of education attained by the participant's primary caregiver. Time of day of consumption was classified based on traditional mealtimes and type of day of consumption as either a school or non-school day. Location of consumption was defined by the participant during the survey.

RESULTS: On the day of the survey 15% (n = 642) of participants consumed CFBs. Older children and those of low socioeconomic background were more likely to consume CFBs (both P < 0.001). Amongst the 642 consumers mean (95% CI) intakes were 151 (115-187)g/day, 287 (252-321)g/day, 442 (400-484)g/day, and 555 (507-602)g/day for 2-3, 4-8, 9-13 and 14-16 year olds respectively. Consumers of CFBs had higher intakes of caffeine (mean (95% CI) 61 (55-67)mg vs. 11 (10-12)mg) and energy (mean (95% CI) 9,612 (9,247-9978)kJ vs. 8,186 (8,040-8,335)kJ) than non-consumers (both P < 0.001). CFBs contributed 69% of total daily caffeine intake. CFB intake was higher on non-school days compared with school days (P < 0.005) and consumption occurred predominantly at the place of residence (56%), within the "dinner" time bracket (17:00-20:30, 44%).

CONCLUSIONS: The consumption of CFBs by all age groups within Australian children is of concern. Modifications to the permissibility of caffeine as a food additive may be an appropriate strategy to reduce the intake of caffeine in this age group. Additional areas for intervention include targeting parental influences over mealtime beverage choices.



BMC public health



Article number



1 - 10


BioMed Central


London, Eng.






Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, The Authors