Today, twelve year olds already drink coffee in excessive mounts. One in the morning for good morning, one at the lunch time, another in the afternoon so they wouldn’t fall asleep and the last one to finish the (school) work they brought home.

Caffeinated drinks, like caramel lattes to coffee coolers and not to mention sodas, are available to them more than ever. Finally, nutritionists started asking themselves what is all that caffeine and sugar doing to their young bodies still in development.
No studies on the effects of caffeine on children have been done but if it’s addictive to adults, it’s certainly addictive to adolescents too and can have lasting effects.

Adolescents who need nutrition are substituting breakfasts with coffee and cigarettes. When we add sodas and energy drinks to the picture, the caffeine intake seems limitless.

There have been no studies on coffee consumptions and children younger than 18, studies that involved population aged 18 to 24 found that their coffee intake doubled in the last four years, from 16% to 31%.
Although caffeine by itself is not that harmful and has even some benefits like reducing risks of Parkinson's disease, diabetes and some cancers or increasing mental acuity, the addiction and the accompanying withdrawal symptoms it causes is worrisome.
Caffeine can also cause stomach and cardiovascular problems, anxiety and insomnia and there are some suggestions that it makes people lose calcium.

Researchers have found that as little as 100 milligrams of caffeine a day can cause withdrawal symptoms but suggest that 200 to 300 milligrams a day -- about two to three cups of coffee -- is safe for adults. There are still no recommendations for caffeine consumption for adolescents.