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Kids & Coffee

You may think of coffee as being an adult-only drink, but lots of kids may start drinking it or want to try it at an early age. The question is, is coffee good for kids? How old should you be if you want to try or start drinking coffee?

A Cup Of History

For a long time, people thought coffee wasn’t healthy – at least for those who drink a lot of it. Some say coffee can make you nervous and anxious, and many regular drinkers would agree.

In medieval times coffee was considered a drug, and early coffee shops were pretty much illegal across Europe.

Today, with other coffee shops sprouting up at pretty much every city corner, things have changed quite a bit. But would anyone have expected scientists and researchers to find out coffee may actually be good for your health? And what about kids? Should they be drinking coffee (for health reasons), too?

Coffee CupCoffee Cup
 

The Science of Coffee

A recent study by Harvard researchers suggested that those who drank something like six cups of coffee a day had a much reduced risk of developing diabetes compared to those who consumed no coffee each day.

Coffee may also reduce the risk for Parkinson’s disease, liver cirrhosis, colon cancer, gallstones, and Alzheimer’s disease (for long-term coffee drinkers). But, at the same time, it may INCREASE the risk of heart disease.

Coffee is such a complex brew of chemicals, many of which are created and brought out in the process of roasting and brewing coffee, that research on the health benefits and risks really need a lot more work before any proven results will be found.

Is Coffee Good for Kids?

According to one researcher – Dr. Tomas DePaulis – many parents who keep their kids as far away from coffee as possible could be wrong. He says coffee isn’t that bad for kids and, like in adults, it can help improve concentration and may help children do a little better on tests for this reason.

In an interesting finding from Brazil, kids who drink coffee with milk are less likely to have depression than other children.

Coffee BeansCoffee Beans
 

Caffeine: The Bad & The Ugly

Unfortunately, there are negative effects of drinking coffee, most of which are associated with drinking large amounts of it. For some people, especially kids, even 1 cup of coffee could have negative effects.

First of all, it’s all-important to remember that coffee contains a lot of caffeine. And, as a kid, there’s a good chance you’re already consuming other products that have caffeine in them, like soft drinks and chocolate. If you add coffee to the mix, you could be consuming way too caffeine on a daily basis.

The National Institute of Health says even though caffeine is safe to consume in moderation, it may have a negative effect on your overall health and nutrition. Caffeinated drinks may be replacing better-for-you foods like milk, and you may not be eating the right amount of food per day because caffeine affects your appetite.

In fact, the National Institute of Health says caffeine can be completely restricted in a child’s diet since there is no nutritional requirement for it.

Caffeine can also increase or be bad for heart problems or nervous disorders, and can produce symptoms like jitters, irritability and hyperactivity. Because it’s considered addictive, caffeine can cause restlessness for those who are hooked and miss their daily dose. There may also be some short-term side effects to consuming caffeine, like heartburn, headaches, stomach problems and high blood pressure.

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How Much Coffee Do You Drink?

  • 1-2 cups a day.
  • 3-4 cups a day.
  • More than five cups a day.
  • None - I hate the bitter taste of coffee.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

PotterDrinksWater
While engagement isn't illegal for juveniles, marriage is as you can already tell. Judging by your feelings, I don't think the relationship will last long enough for him to be able to wait. I heard some courts will allow it, depending on location. Knowing whether her engagement is okay is a tricky thing. She seems pretty confident in the relationship. As for your own feelings, how well do you know him? Do you have any knowledge about him outside their love life? Do her parents know anything about him? If you don't now the answers, don't be afraid to ask them to her or her parents. I'm also a 16-year-old girl and I don't feel comfortable with it. Many young adults have a hard time understanding the transition from  teen to adult, but if he's put his problems on her, that's a bad sign. I don't think 5 months is long enough in my opinion and I think this could lead to making bad habits in a relationship. I appreciate that you're trying to help your friend be safe. Hopefully some of her closest people will help her with you. They don't necessarily have to steer her against him, but they should help guide her into deciding what's best ad how to carry on from that.
reply 1 minute
CaptJolee
CaptJolee posted in Friends:
I don't even think that legal for a adult to marry a teen I think you should ask that part to make sure my theory is correct
reply about 3 hours
Boysrock50
Boysrock50 posted in Friends:
Do your parents know her parents? Maybe you could get your parents to speak to hers. Or if not, maybe tell her parents yourself that you're concerned. Try speaking to her and making sure she's 100% sure about what she's doing?
reply about 4 hours
KittyChes16
KittyChes16 posted in Friends:
So last year my friend got engaged at the age of sixteen to a guy of twenty-one and they only dated for 5 months at the time. I'm afraid she's making a mistake. They're still together, but her guy seems like he has a temper and might get abusive in the future.  What should I do? 
reply about 5 hours
DaEpicMuffin
DaEpicMuffin posted in Style:
50% Tomboy 20% Goth 30% Normal
reply about 14 hours