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By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Caffeine has been a choice to boost energy for centuries but the caffeinated beverage of choice for the young seems to be changing.

In the past ten years soda consumption has dropped from 62% to 38% in kids from 2 to 22. That might sound good, but there is a rise in intake of coffee and energy drinks.

In case you are curious, tea is the largest caffeine contributor in ages 2 to 5, and coffee is the winner among ages 19 to 22.

Researchers feel that this shift may be due to increasingly popular sweetened coffee drinks, but nothing tops a six-fold increase in energy drink sales. An energy drink can have up to 4 times the amount of caffeine as the same amount of soda. A growing number of energy drink-related emergency room visits have been reported among adolescents.

The FDA does nothing about this and leaves caffeine largely unregulated as it is still considered a supplement.

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