Research Article| Volume 48, ISSUE 3, P181-189.e1, March 2016

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Adolescent Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding Caffeine and the Consumption of Caffeinated Beverages

  • Author Footnotes
    † P. Turton was a graduate student and dietetic intern at the time this work was conducted.
    Paige Turton
    † P. Turton was a graduate student and dietetic intern at the time this work was conducted.
    Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Brescia University College, Ontario, Canada
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  • Len Piché
    Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Brescia University College, Ontario, Canada
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  • Danielle S. Battram
    Address for correspondence: Danielle S. Battram, PhD, RD, Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Brescia University College, 1285 Western Rd, London, Ontario N6G 1H2, Canada; Phone: Telephone: (519) 432-8353, extension 28228; Fax: (519) 858-5137
    Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Brescia University College, Ontario, Canada
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    † P. Turton was a graduate student and dietetic intern at the time this work was conducted.



      To explore adolescents' attitudes and beliefs toward the consumption of caffeinated beverages and factors influencing their caffeinated beverage choice and consumption patterns.


      Twenty focus groups were conducted with grades 9 to 12 secondary school students.


      Two secondary schools in London, Ontario, Canada.


      This study included 166 adolescents, 42% of whom were male and 72% of whom were in grades 9 and 10.

      Phenomenon of Interest

      Adolescent views regarding caffeine and caffeinated beverages.


      Three researchers independently conducted inductive content analysis on the data using the principles of the immersion-crystallization method.


      Awareness levels regarding types of caffeinated beverages and their negative health effects were high in adolescents whereas awareness of other aspects of caffeine itself and recommended consumption levels were low. Adolescents also identified reasons for caffeine use, including providing energy, taste, accessibility, and image enhancement. Influences for caffeine use most noted by participants included parental role modeling, media and advertising, and social norms.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Further education is needed to correct the misconceptions adolescents have regarding certain aspects of caffeine. By gaining a deeper understanding of adolescents' caffeine use, effective educational strategies may be developed to reduce its use and mitigate potential harms.

      Key Words

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