The do-it-yourself caffeine audit

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<ul><li><p>e </p><p>GEM NO. 61 </p><p>The Do-It-Yourself Caffeine Audit </p><p>Charles Hale and Robert C. Davis, Alachua County Public Health Unit, Box 1327, Gainesville, Florida 32602 </p><p>Since many Americans consume excessive amounts of caffeine, we developed the Do-It-Yourself Caf-feine Audit as a part of a self-assess-ment element of a nutrition educa-</p><p>tion unit we teach to adults. We have found that members of our classes are surprised to find out how much caffeine they consume, and they are amenable to suggestions for reduc-ing their consumption. The audit has been well received by our stu-dents. In fact, when we teach the nu-trition education unit, we routinely take along several extra copies of the audit because so many members of </p><p>the class request copies for their fam-ily and friends. </p><p>The purposes of the exercise are to 1) make people aware of the amount of caffeine in the foods they eat and the over-the-counter medications they take; 2) make people aware that excessive caffeine intake may be as-sociated with adverse health effects; and 3) suggest ways to reduce caf-feine intake. </p><p>Do-It-Yourself Caffeine Audit According to the American Council on Science and </p><p>Health, 11 million Americans consume too much caffeine. And excessive caffeine intake may be associated with a number of adverse health effects. For example, if you con-sume 4-5 cups of brewed coffee or 10-12 cups of instant coffee per day, you may experience headaches, sleep dis-turbance, rapid heart rate, anxiety, upset stomach, or de-pression. And although there is no conclusive evidence re-lating caffeine consumption and chronic diseases, some areas that have been investigated include the following: heart disease, hypertension, bladder cancer, peptic ulcer, cancer of the pancreas, and breast diseases (breast lumps, and breast cancer.) </p><p>Column A </p><p>The following exercise will help you identify the sources of the caffeine you consume and approximate your daily caffeine intake. To complete this audit, you need to recall your caffeine consumption during the past 24 hours. In column A, record the number of servings or doses for each of the items listed that you have consumed within the past 24 hours. Then multiply the column A value by its corre-sponding column B value and record the product in column C. Total the values in column C to arrive at your estimated daily intake of caffeine. Caffeine values have been rounded to the nearest 5 milligrams (mg) to make it easier to multiply. </p><p>Column B Amount of Column C Caffeine Total </p><p>Number of Servings per Serving Caffeine Source of Caffeine per Day </p><p>Coffee (6 oz.) Automatic drip Automatic perk Instant Decaffeinated Soft Drinks (12 oz.) Regular colas Diet colas Cocoa Products Chocolate candy (2 oz.) Baking chocolate (1 oz.) </p><p>,Milk chocolate (2 oz.) South American cocoa (6 oz.) Drugs (one tablet or capsule) Dexatrim NoDoz Anacin Midol Coricidin Tea (6 oz.) Iced tea Hot tea (moderate </p><p>steeping time) </p><p>If your caffeine consumption is over 250-300 milligrams per day, you may be consuming too much. Some sugges-tions for reducing caffeine consumption include: 1) switch-ing to decaffeinated coffee or soft drinks; 2) cutting down on caffeinated beverages; 3) mixing caffeinated and decaf-feinated coffee grounds together before making coffee; or 4) limiting your consumption of caffeinated beverages to a preselected number and then switching to decaffeinated </p><p>, beverages. </p><p>(mg) (mg) </p><p>x 180 x 125 x 75 = x 5 </p><p>x 45 = x 5 = </p><p>------</p><p>x 45 = x 45 = x 10 = x 40 = </p><p>x 200 = x 100 = x 35 x 30 x 30 </p><p>x 70 x 65 </p><p>Total = </p><p>Note This audit is based upon a 17-page report, The Health Ef-fects of Caffeine, issued by the American Council on Sci-ence and Health in January 1983. The American Council on Science and Health is located at 47 Maple Street, Summit, NJ 07901 . </p><p>JOURNAL OF NUTRITION EDUCATION 18:122A, 1986 </p><p>I) </p></li></ul>

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