Objectives: To explore the consumption of caffeine containing beverages by the Irish population and to investigate their self-perceived dependency on such products.
Methodology: An online survey was distributed with national access to Irish adults which was open to responses from 25th February to 7th March 2021 inclusive. A total of 417 responses from participants over 18 years of age were validated and analysed using Microsoft Excel.
Results: Tea was the most commonly consumed caffeinated product among the Irish population, with the majority of respondents stating their consumption began before 10 years old. The majority of respondents did not believe themselves to be dependent on caffeine; however their self-reported intake could imply otherwise. Reduction of caffeine intake and knowledge of caffeine content were also highlighted throughout the study, with reports of withdrawal symptoms and evidence showing a lack of awareness regarding the presence of caffeine in certain regularly consumed beverages being noted.
Conclusion & Recommendations: Caffeine is widely consumed throughout the Irish population. An association between self-reported dependency and higher caffeine intake per day was noted. The Irish population should be made more aware of caffeine content in products, which can be achieved through improved labelling of such goods. An information campaign should be launched educating the public on caffeine dependence syndrome and the risks associated with high levels of caffeine consumption. Introducing a legal age for purchasing highly caffeinated products could be considered. The lack of standardised unit measurements and the bias of self-reported data presented limitations in this study.
Buckley, Gavin; Murphy, Ciara; O'Sullivan, Nora; and Spriggs, Róisín
"An Investigation into Caffeine Consumption and Self-Reported Dependency in the Republic of Ireland,"
International Undergraduate Journal of Health Sciences: Vol. 1:
2, Article 9.
Available at: https://sword.cit.ie/iujhs/vol1/iss2/9