Caffeine’s effect on teens varies by gender: study

Buffalo, NY – Caffeine may affect adolescent boys and girls differently after they reach puberty, according to a study from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Researchers tested two groups of children, one consisting of 8- and 9-year-olds and the other featuring 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds. Both groups consumed an amount of caffeine approximately equal the amount found in a can of soda or cup of coffee.

Researchers found that teen boys had greater changes in heart rates and blood pressure than girls after consuming the same amount of caffeine. Caffeine had similar effects on boys and girls who had not reached puberty.

The study follows a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that determined about 73 percent of children consumed caffeine on a given day from 1999 to 2010. Soda remains the leading source of children’s caffeine intake, although coffee and energy drinks gained popularity during that time, according to the report.

The gender study was published online June 16 in Pediatrics.