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Caffeine Now In Cracker Jacks Are You Kidding Me?

I came across a story this morning on my RSS feeds that Frito Lay, the manufacturer of the original childhood favorite Cracker Jacks, will soon introduce a new version called “Cracker Jack’d” which contains caffeine. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not.

Many individuals will gloss over the news when they see it and think nothing of it, and some will undoubtedly be excited about trying it. To me this is a terribly sad state on just how twisted things have gotten.

I mean seriously, for the most part who eats Cracker Jacks? It’s kids of course. I haven’t had a box in years, but I certainly had my fair share of it as a kid.

If it wasn’t bad enough that people are DYING from drinking over-caffeinated energy drinks, they’re now putting caffeine in children’s snacks. Come on now!

More after the jump…

Here’s an excerpt from the story as reported on Fox News.

The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reported that Frito-Lay, the manufacturer of Cracker Jacks, will soon introduce a new version of its snack called Cracker Jack’d – which will have added caffeine. According to CSPI, the move violates Food and Drug Administration regulations, and the government needs to take action before other food and beverage manufacturers create similar products.

Michael F. Jacobson, CSPI executive director, has written a letter to the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in an attempt to alert the agency about Cracker Jack’d, MiO Energy – Kraft’s caffeinated “water enhancer,” and the caffeinated “Extreme Sports Beans” made by the Jelly Belly Candy Company.

Up to 0.02 percent of caffeine in cola beverages is considered safe by the FDA. The CSPI maintained a lack of regulations for other products makes the use of caffeine in them illegal. Go to story.

I don’t typically get too fired up about the latest junk food creation, but we’re talking about the health and wellness of kids here.

If an adult wants to poison themselves with Big Gulp Coca-Cola’s and Big-Mac’s, that’s their own prerogative and they’ll have to deal with the consequences. Although it does seem increasingly evident that we’ll all have to pay in some way for the poor health of this nation.

Like it or not, someone will have to pay for subsidized health care and the taxpayers will undoubtedly be footing the bill.

Hey look I’m all for individual liberty and personal choice, but when do we as a people, as a nation, stand up and denounce the very things that are degrading our health?

I really do fear for what’s to come down the road unless some things change. Today they’re putting caffeine in Cracker Jacks, what’s next breakfast cereals, potato chips, Pop-Tarts?

We’ve already got a childhood and adolescent obesity epidemic, and we’re even seeing kids develop type II diabetes. Let’s just add in an epidemic of adrenal fatigue when the younger generation becomes adults while we’re at it.

The entire welfare, security, and stability of any nation rests on the health and wellness of the people. If you think we have problems now, just wait. What kind of work force will we have in the future? What will the quality of life be like for the generations to come?

I try to be a “glass half full” kind of guy, be reality isn’t painting a pretty picture.

My personal opinion on the matter is this, you may disagree with me and that’s ok.

Caffeine is a stimulant that should be reserved for use by adults. Hey, I enjoy my morning cup of coffee just like the next person and have been on record advocating the use of a moderate dose of caffeine prior to a workout.

I take an Advocare Spark in my water before most of my weight training workouts. I don’t want to come across as being “anti-caffeine.”

When used in moderation, caffeine does have it’s benefits and can be safely incorporated into the diet of a grown adult.

But with children and adolescents? That’s where I think we have to be careful.

We’re already seeing the potential dangers from these energy drinks when they’re abused.

Children and young kids are much more prone to the harmful effects of caffeine in excess since they’re bodies aren’t fully developed.

While it may not be feasible to enact legislation that addresses this issue completely, perhaps there should be some exploration on what food and drink caffeine can be “inserted” into.

Certainly in my opinion, any food or drink that is geared towards children should be off-limits.

Let’s face it, Cracker Jacks would constitute as a candied snack. Kids are going to eat it. And if they put caffeine in it so you can get a rush, kids will buy it that much more.

It’s obvious why manufacturers are going down this road. There’s lots of money to be made with a product like this. But is it right?

I say no. Tis my two cents for what it’s worth.

What say you?

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts, a Charleston personal fitness training studio that specializes in weight loss and body transformation. See our success stories from numerous Lowcountry residents then sign up for a no-obligations consultation today.

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Category: Shane's Commentary.