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Does Coffee Stunt Your Growth

The United States has an obsession with caffeine and coffee in general. This obsession is growing as the average American coffee drinker annually spends more than $1,500 on coffee. Coffee contains moderate levels of caffeine which is a stimulant. It’s the caffeine content that has led to most people labeling coffee as an adult beverage, but there are instances when it’s appropriate for children. While small children shouldn’t be given a steaming cup of coffee to start their days it can be used as a treatment for ADHD. However, there are some negative stigmatisms associated with giving coffee to children. For years, parents have believed that coffee can stunt a child’s growth, but recent studies suggest otherwise.

Does coffee stunt your growth Coffee poses no threat of stunting a child’s growth. Photo by Roberto Taddeo

Does Coffee Influence Your Growth

There is a rumor that giving coffee to children can stunt their growth. You have probably heard this rumor before and even told it to your own children when they ask you for coffee. This is an excellent way to say no to the children without causing a tantrum. In fact, the rumor was probably born out of a need to deny coffee to children without upsetting them. Children want to do everything they see adults do, and denying them coffee only makes them want it more. However, telling them it is detrimental to their health gives you a seemingly viable reason for saying no. Children want nothing more than to grow up and become healthy adults. Telling them something will impede this process might make them recant their requests. However a recent study shows that children who consume high amounts of coffee had no loss in bone growth or bone density for that matter. It seems as though the rumor that coffee can stunt a child’s growth is just an old wives tale, but you should still refrain from letting younger children drink it. Coffee poses no threat of stunting a child’s growth so long as they don’t stay up into the early morning drinking coffee instead of sleeping.

Should Children Drink Coffee

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends teenagers drink no more than one 8 ounce cup a day. However, drinking coffee can lead to insomnia which may adversely effect a child’s growth. In order for your children to grow, they need rest and nourishment. The growth hormone is actually released during the sleep cycle and prolonged periods of sleep deprivation can eventually stunt the child’s growth. However, it’s fine for teenagers to drink a cup of coffee in the morning, because it won’t impact the amount of sleep they’re getting at night. If you are still opposed to your children drinking coffee you can continue to tell them that it stunts their growth and it’s not technically a lie. This rumor may have started because caffeine was once believed to contribute to osteoporosis, but, even this belief has been disproved.

Coffee: Alright For Teens But Not Small Children

There are a number of people who refuse to give their children coffee and this is actually very logical. Coffee has the ability to treat disorders like ADD and ADHD, because it does contain a drug: caffeine. Even though children have to get up even earlier than their parents in some cases, they should never be given coffee because of the presence of caffeine. Children naturally have elevated energy levels and they already have a difficult time sitting still. Giving coffee to your small children can cause them to be misdiagnosed with behavioral disorders. If your child cannot sit still in school, ADHD and ADD will seem like the most logical explanation for the jittery behavior. The caffeine will then continue to stimulate the child, so he or she seems like a legitimate ADHD patient. Therefore, children below the age of fourteen should not be given coffee under any circumstances.

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