I am sure that as children we became all too familiar with this phrase: “don’t drink coffee, it will stunt your growth.” Of course, back then we immediately let go of the cup not wanting to stay 4 foot 9 inches. But let’s take a closer into this myth that we were tricked into believing our entire childhood. Does it really stunt your growth? Or do adults just love their coffee too much?
What are the facts?
Here are the facts. After decades of research on the physiological results of coffee consumption, there is no evidence that coffee has any effects on one’s heights. Therefore, it is unclear how this old wives tale got started but it certainly is not true.
What are scientists saying?
However, studies show that caffeine has a connection with osteoporosis, which may be how this myth started spreading. This belief that was brought up; showed a relationship between reduced bone mass with high intakes of caffeinated beverages.
Dr. Robert P. Heaney, a calcium expert at Creighton University in Omaha looked into the studies that had been done. He saw that all of the research had been conducted on elderly people; whose diets lack milk and other sources of calcium. Therefore, this belief and study was not a reliable one as the results did not reflect the effects of caffeine on one’s bones.
Another study had been conducted where it tracked 81 teens for six years. There was no difference in bone gain or bone density between those who did and did not have a high caffeine intake.
However, despite this, some other sources say that coffee and caffeinated beverages do cause osteoporosis. For example, the Cleveland Clinic says that, “coffee does appear to have some effect on women’s bone density.”
So it turns out, different sources say different things, but one thing that all have agreed on is that 400 milligrams of caffeine appears to be safe for most healthy adults.
So kids, don’t risk it. Leave your mother’s cup of coffee alone.