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Caffeine Intake Habits and the Perception of Its Effects on Health Among College Students

Bucher, Jami BSN, RN; Fitzpatrick, Darcy BSN, RN; Swanson, Allison G. BSN, RN; Abraham, Samuel P. DHA, MS, RN

doi: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000240
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The purpose of this study was to explore caffeine intake habits and the perception of its effects on health among college students. After completing a literature review on the topic of caffeine and its effects, a problem was identified relating to increased caffeine consumption and a gap in knowledge about the effects of caffeine among college students. This was a quantitative, cross-sectional study with a descriptive design. The participants were 120 college students in a campus population of about 2000 in Northern Indiana. The survey contained five demographic and 19 Likert-type statements on a 4-point scale of (1) “strongly disagree,” (2) “disagree,” (3) “agree,” and (4) “strongly agree.” Data collection occurred on the college campus at the sandwich shop, during the lunch hour. In the perception category, Regularly consuming caffeine can have long-term negative effects on health” (mean [SD], 3.10 [0.68]) received the highest agreement. In the habit category, “I drink caffeinated beverages because I like the taste” (mean [SD], 3.11 [0.85]) received the highest agreement. In conclusion, college students are aware of the negative effects of caffeine, yet 75% consumed one or more and some exceeding five servings daily.

Author Affiliations: Parkview Huntington Hospital, Bluffton, Indiana (Ms Bucher); Barnes Jewish Hospital, Saint Louis, Missouri (Ms Fitzpatrick); Aultman Hospital, Canton, Ohio (Ms Swanson); and Bethel College (Dr Abraham), Mishawaka, Indiana.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Samuel P. Abraham, DHA, MS, RN, 9910 Old US Hwy 31, Berrien Springs, MI 49103 (abrahams383@att.net).

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