Caffeine exposure from beverages and its association with self-reported sleep duration and quality in a large sample of Icelandic adolescents

Þórhallur Ingi Halldórsson*, Álfgeir Logi Kristjánsson, Ingibjörg E. Þórisdóttir, Charlotta Oddsdóttir, Jóhannes Sveinbjörnsson, Rafn Benediktsson, Inga Dóra Sigfúsdóttir, Hrönn Ólína Jörundsdóttir, Helga Gunnlaugsdóttir, T I Halldorsson

*Corresponding author for this work

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Previous risk assessments have concluded that adolescent's caffeine exposure from energy drinks (ED) are of limited concern. Recent surveys have, however, shown substantial increase in consumption. This cross-sectional survey conducted in 2020 estimated caffeine exposure from beverages among ∼80% of all 13-15-year-old adolescents (n = 10358) relative to the European Food Safety Authority's level of no safety concern of (3.0 mg/kg bw) and level for effects on sleep (1.4 mg/kg bw). Associations with self-reported sleep duration and quality were also explored. ED consumers were more likely to exceed the limit of no safety concern (prevelance: 12–14%) compared to non-ED-consumers (1–2%). Exceeding the limit for effects on sleep was also higher among ED consumers (31–38%) than non-ED-consumers (5–8%). Across categories of low (<0.5 mg/kg bw) to high (>3.0 mg/kg bw) caffeine intake, the prevalence of participants sleeping <6 h increased from 3% to 24%, respectively. The corresponding adjusted Prevalence Ratio was 4.5 (95% CI: 3.6, 5.7) and mean decrease in duration of sleep was 0.74 h (95% CI: 0.65, 0.84). In conclusion, caffeine intake from beverages above the limit of no safety concern was largely confined to ED consumers. Consistent with effects from intervention studies in adults, caffeine intake was strongly associated with self-reported sleep duration in this representative population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112549
Pages (from-to)112549-END12
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by funding from the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation. The Ministry had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, or reporting.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Other keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Beverages
  • Caffeine
  • Energy drinks
  • Risk assessment
  • Sleep duration
  • Ungt fólk
  • Orkudrykkir


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