SEOUL, Sept. 18 (Korea Bizwire) – The increasing number of inexpensive coffee shops near schools and hagwons (Korean cram schools) is causing worries about young people consuming too much caffeine.
Teenagers mention that they visit these affordable coffee shops because they are everywhere and the beverages there don’t cost much. And affordable, caffeinated coffee can be an enticing choice for students who require an extra boost of energy to stay alert and study.
According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, adolescents and children should limit daily caffeine consumption to 2.5 mg of caffeine for every kilogram they weigh. For instance, a 50-kilogram teenager shouldn’t exceed 125 mg of caffeine per day.
However, one low-priced coffee brand’s website reveals that a 20 oz (about 600 ml) iced Americano has 204.2 mg of caffeine, which on its own is significantly more than the recommended daily limit.
In the recent “Youth Health Behavior Survey” conducted by the Korean Disease Control and Prevention Agency, which involved around 60,000 middle and high school students from 800 schools nationwide, 22.3 percent of the surveyed teens reported drinking high-caffeine beverages three or more times per week. Another 26.4 percent said they consumed them once or twice a week.
The Children’s Food Safety Management Act categorizes high-caffeine products containing over 15mg of caffeine per 100ml of drink as ‘cautionary’ for children under 18 years old. As a result, the Minister of Food and Drug Safety is obliged to forbid the sale of high-caffeine products like coffee in schools.
The government can also limit or prohibit the sale of such items in stores recognized for selling children’s preferred snacks that are not high in calories or low in nutrients.
However, there are no rules or methods in place to oversee and control budget coffee shops near schools and tutoring centers, where students frequently buy coffee.
An official from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety stated, “There is no legal foundation to control the sale of coffee to young individuals in coffee shops near schools and tutoring centers, and there is no way to put warning labels in these coffee shops about the potential side effects of high-caffeine drinks.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)