According to the study, infants of Hispanic mothers were more likely to consume coffee, compared to infants and toddlers of non-Hispanic mothers.
Also, the study shows that girls were more likely to drink the beverage, as compared to boy toddlers.
Researchers believe that these babies come from families where drinking coffee is a cultural norm. Residents of Australia, Ethiopia and Cambodia are known to give their children coffee even before they turn five.
The new study which shows that 15% of Boston toddlers drink coffee was conducted by researchers from the Boston Medical Center.
Anne Merewood, one of the leaders of the study and an associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, explained that although the findings were surprising, the unusual practice makes sense, culturally speaking.
Dr. Merewood said that she is English and she has been drinking tea ever since she was very young. Being a cultural custom, the families feed the babies what every other member is having, regardless of age.
However, some experts believe this practice could put the children at health risks, such addiction, diabetes, obesity, depression and sleep disorders.
Alyssa Rumsey, a dietitian and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, commented about the recent findings, saying that small children “”aren’t merely small adults” and are not supposed to drink coffee.
Although there aren’t many studies that show the effects of coffee on infants and toddlers, one study showed that babies who are 2 year old and drink coffee or tea are three times more likely to become obese, mostly because the drinks make children crave sugar from a very early age.
Starbucks has been criticized by many for trying to sell sweet, caffeinated drinks to young kids, although the company insisted the drinks are not meant for minors.
Another study revealed that 17 and 18 year old young adults drink more coffee, compared to 10 years ago. Also, young teens, ages 12 to 16 are consuming more caffeine from coffee, study shows.
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