(HealthDay News) – On the heels of the introduction of a new chewing gum containing as much caffeine as half a cup of coffee, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking a closer look at the impact of caffeinated products on children’s health.
The gum is one of a number of beverages and food products arriving in increasing numbers in the marketplace. Some drinks and energy shots, which have been linked to illness and death, are already under investigation by the FDA.
Manufacturers of the products claim their products are for adults, but some products, such as jelly beans, trail mix, and chips, clearly have appeal to children.
“The only time that FDA explicitly approved the added use of caffeine in a food was for cola and that was in the 1950s. Today, the environment has changed. Children and adolescents may be exposed to caffeine beyond those foods in which caffeine is naturally found and beyond anything FDA envisioned when it made the determination regarding caffeine in cola,” Michael R. Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement. “For that reason, FDA is taking a fresh look at the potential impact that the totality of new and easy sources of caffeine may have on the health of children and adolescents, and if necessary, will take appropriate action.”