WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

Caffeine Gum Raises Concerns

April 30, 2013

A new way to get a boost of energy has sparked an investigation into kids' health.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking into the impact added caffeine may have on children and adolescents.

The probe comes as a new caffeinated gum has hit the market. One piece of Wrigley's Alert Energy Gum includes as much caffeine as half a cup of coffee. Now, the FDA wants to know what that means for young consumers.

"If you feed your children sodas and other things with caffeine in it, then you're going to have them wired out of their minds," said Charlottesville resident Anita McArthur. "I at one point in my life was really consumed with caffeine in the form of sodas. I'd have three or four a day, and it really is addictive."

Arthur no longer consumes caffeine for health reasons, but Albemarle County resident Jake Farrell has to have it.

The high school senior got hooked on the stimulant last year.

"It's gotten to the point now where I have a headache if I don't have any coffee by noon," the 18-year-old said.

Farrell says he is surprised caffeine is not regulated more closely, especially for its youngest consumers.

"You're essentially selling a drug that the government has been like, anyone can have this," said Farrell. "If you bring a baby into a coffee shop and give them an espresso, the worst that will happen is that you are going to get yelled at by someone."

The FDA is already researching the safety of energy drinks after consumers reported illness and death.

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 205513131