Coffee for Kids – Does it Really Stunt Their Growth?
A cup of java may keep kids up at night, but it won’t affect their height.
In past Generations, parents didn’t allow their children to drink coffee, believing that it would stunt their growth. But today, kids are consuming coffee in record numbers and at younger ages. In fact, young people are now the fastest – growing coffee – drinking group in the United States.
Does this trend indicate a corresponding shrinkage in the younger Generations adult height? no, say researchers. There is no evidence that drinking coffee affects growth or a person’s eventual height. At one time there seemed to be a link between caffeine consumption and the development of osteoporosis, and that may be how coffee originally got blamed for inhibiting growth.
Early studies suggested that drinking lots of caffeinated beverages contributed to reduced bone mass. more recent studies have debunked that idea. Much of the preliminary research on caffeine and bone loss was done on elderly people whose diets or low in calcium. Other researchers have noted that even if caffeine does affect bone mass, its influence is minimal and can easily be counteracted with a sufficient amount of calcium rich foods.
The myth that coffee stunts growth was laid to rest by a study that followed 81 adolescents for six years. At the end of the study, there was no difference in bone gain or bone density between those who drank the most coffee and those who drank the least. In other words don’t worry about letting your kids have an occasional Cup of Joe, but unless you want to be up all night while they bounce off the walls, make sure they drink it in the morning.
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