Caffeine intakes of children from a biracial population: the Bogalusa Heart Study

J Am Diet Assoc. 1988 Apr;88(4):466-71.


To investigate caffeine intake patterns in children, dietary intakes were examined for a biracial sample of 1,284 infants and children. Twenty-four-hour dietary recalls were completed by parents of children aged 6 months and repeated at ages 1, 2, 3, and 4 years; children 10 years old served as their own respondents and were surveyed at ages 13, 15, and 17 years. The sample was 60% white and 40% black. Additional cohorts of 10-year-olds (no. = 686) were studied for temporal trend. Whites consumed significantly more caffeine than blacks as early as 1 year and persisted at a higher intake level from 2 to 17 years. This trend continued whether intake was measured in total milligrams, milligrams per 1,000 kcal, or milligrams per kilogram body weight. Significant sex differences in caffeine intakes per 1,000 kcal occurred among 15- and 17-year-olds (girls greater than boys). Peak periods of consumption occurred at ages 2, 3, 13, and 17. Snacks contributed large quantities of caffeine, particularly for 10-year-olds. Most frequent sources of caffeine were regular carbonated beverages, chocolate-containing foods, and tea. Mean intakes of caffeine for 10-year-olds were consistent from 1973 to 1982. Those observations document caffeine intakes beginning early in life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Black or African American*
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Louisiana
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Prospective Studies
  • White People*


  • Caffeine