The Canadian division of PepsiCo announced yesterday it will voluntarily redesign the packaging on its beverages - including Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Lipton Iced Tea - to include the caffeine count.
Until now, consumers have only been able to find out the caffeine content of Pepsi products on the company's website and by calling its consumer service line.
The new labelling, already on U.S. products, will roll out by the end of this year on all Lipton brands sold in Canada. The new Pepsi labels will be undertaken as part of a major redesign to be completed mid-2009, says a PepsiCo spokesperson.
Those who lobbied for disclosure of caffeine content on the labels say the caffeine in soft drinks is a concern given that some children may drink high amounts of these carbonated beverages.
One 355-millitre can of Pepsi contains 38 milligrams of caffeine - just a bit lower than Health Canada's new recommended maximum intake of 45 milligrams of caffeine for children aged 4 to 6. For children aged 7 to 9, the maximum suggested level is 62.5 milligrams a day, and for those aged 10 to 12 it's 85 milligrams.
PepsiCo's move to disclose the caffeine content on nutrition labels would serve as a wake-up call to many parents who don't realize the potential health consequences the drinks could have. Sleeping problems, excitability and hyperactivity in children may be linked to consumption of caffeinated beverages, says one dietitian.
Seeing the amount of caffeine spelled out on a nutrition label could be the final straw for parents already wary of the excessive sugar and low nutritional value of soft drinks.
Parents are encouraged by nutrition experts to offer water, 1% of 2% milk, fortified soy beverages, or 100% fruit juice to their children - instead of soft drinks.
For more information on PepsiCo's new labelling rules, visit their website at http://www.pepsi.ca/
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.