2007 -2009 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
Objective: Caffeinated beverages have flooded the shelves of supermarkets, gas stations, and campus dinning halls, and are highly marketed towards younger generations in the form of energy stimulants. Places of higher education, such as colleges, are where the dependency may begin to develop as the result of consumption to improve scholastic performance. This dependency may increase and worsen over time due to the addictive side effects of 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, caffeine.
Methods: The relationship between the consumption of caffeine and places of higher education was examined in 126 undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members at the University of Kentucky. The participants included 67 females (ranging from 18-52 year of age) and 59 males (ranging 18-52 years of age). The participants completed surveys inquiring about their caffeine consumption, the frequency of consumption, dependency, and whether or not being at a place of higher education influences their intake.
Results: It was discovered that 23% of the participants considered themselves dependent of caffeine and 34% consider themselves dependent of caffeine in order to perform certain tasks, such as studying, completing assignments, and focusing in class. 63% of participants felt that being at a place of higher education did increase their caffeine consumption.
Conclusion: Therefore, because consumption of caffeine increases blood pressure, plasma catecholamine levels, plasma rennin activity, serum free fatty acid levels, urine production, and gastric acid secretion it is important that people at place of higher education, like the University of Kentucky, be informed of the risks of caffeine consumption and dependency.