Dr. David Kessler in his book The End of Overeating discusses how food manufacturers are modifying their products to make them more appealing. Here's a quote from an interview of him: "Fat, sugar, and salt are increasingly being loaded and layered into our food. The business plan for modern American food companies is for them to take fat, sugar, and salt, put it on every corner, and make it available 24/7. So it's virtually acceptable to eat any time. We've made food into entertainment." (see: An Interview with David Kessler, MD).
Now comes news that a new version of Cracker Jacks, manufactured by Frito-Lay, will have caffeine added to it (see: Cracker Jack adding caffeine and CSPI doesn’t like it one bit). The Frito-Lay web site says at the top: "There's more than just fun in our snacks" and they're not kidding! Here is an excerpt from the CPSI article:
Boxes of Cracker Jack are famous for having a toy surprise inside. But what parent suspects that Cracker Jack might come with a surprising dose of a mildly addictive stimulant drug? A soon-to-be-introduced new version of that classic, kid-friendly snack does, in fact, have added caffeine—something that the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest says is a violation of Food and Drug Administration regulations. CSPI says that if government regulators don’t take some kind of action, products like Frito-Lay’s Cracker Jack’d could set off a new craze in which manufacturers add caffeine to more and more varieties of foods and beverages.The FDA considers caffeine safe for use in cola-type beverages up to 0.02 percent. The lack of a standard for other products makes its use in those illegal, according to CSPI....Both MiO Energy and Cracker Jack’d have fine print on labels saying the products are inappropriate for children but CSPI told the companies that that’s not sufficient to prevent children from consuming them. Effects of caffeine include anxiety, restlessness, irritability, excitability, and insomnia, according to CSPI. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the consumption of caffeine and other stimulant substances in the diets of children and adolescents.
A wide-ranging review of the effects of high-caffeine energy drinks on children and young adults finds that they have been linked to an array of serious events — including heart palpitations, high blood pressure and even cardiac arrest and death — and may pose special risks to young people who take medication or have chronic illnesses.
It looks like the industrial food giants like Kraft and Frito-Lay are adding greater variety and potency to manufactured food layering by adding caffeine to the mix. I hope that the FDA is acutely aware of how these food giants are pushing the envelope and putting us all at greater risk.