By ANAHAD O'CONNOR New York Times
There are many new food products, like this gum, that contain high levels of caffeine.
Most people who want a quick caffeine fix look for it in liquid form. But lately it has become increasingly easy to find foods that are intentionally laced with it
Caffeine is being added to a growing number of products — jelly beans, waffles, water and even potato chips. In fact Wrigley, the chewing gum manufacturer, is now promoting a line of caffeinated gum, with each piece containing as much caffeine as half a cup of coffee.
In response to the growing trend of caffeinated foods, the Food and Drug Administration recently announced that it planned to investigate the safety of caffeine in food products, particularly focusing on its effects in children and adolescents. On Friday, the agency released more information on its investigation, along with details from its deputy commissioner, Michael R. Taylor:
Our concern is about caffeine appearing in a range of new products, including ones that may be attractive and readily available to children and adolescents, without careful consideration of their cumulative impact.
One pack of this gum is like having four cups of coffee in your pocket. Caffeine is even being added to jelly beans, marshmallows, sunflower seeds and other snacks for its stimulant effect.
Meanwhile, “energy drinks” with caffeine are being aggressively marketed, including to young people. An instant oatmeal on the market boasts that one serving has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, and then there are similar products, such as a so-called “wired” waffle and “wired” syrup with added caffeine.
The proliferation of these products in the marketplace is very disturbing to us.
To learn more, read the full report on the F.D.A.’s Web site. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/Cons.../ucm350570.htm