A systematic survey of caffeine intake in Vermont

Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 1997 Nov;5(4):393-8. doi: 10.1037//1064-1297.5.4.393.


Detailed data were collected on lifetime caffeine intake from 202 Vermont residents using a random-digit dial telephone survey. The sample appeared representative and test-retest reliability of caffeine intake was high (r = .95). Almost all participants (96%) had ever used and most (83%) presently used one or more caffeinated beverages weekly. The average caffeine intake was 186 mg/day. Many caffeine users (61%) used caffeinated beverages other than coffee. Current caffeine intake was a poor measure of lifetime intake. For example, among ever-users of caffeine, 41% had stopped at least 1 type of caffeinated beverage and 14% had stopped caffeine altogether. Cessation was mostly due to health concerns and unpleasant side effects. It was concluded that simply asking about "usual" coffee use is a poor and biased estimate of lifetime caffeine use. Thus, prior findings that caffeine is not associated with medical or behavioral disorders may represent false-negative results.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Beverages
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Caffeine / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Vermont / epidemiology


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Caffeine