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The consumption of energy drinks by teenagers is constantly on the rise. A new study correlates the consumption of energy drinks with risky behavior in teenagers. Read on to find out more about the study.

Linkage between Higher Consumption of Energy Drinks and Risky Behavior in Teens

Owing to the aggressive marketing campaigns by energy drink manufacturers, more and more teens find it fashionable to consume drinks such as Monster Energy, Red Bull, Rockstar, and Amp. Energy drink makers claim that consumption of these drinks can boost your energy and improve your athletic performance. Some energy drink makers also promise a clearer mind with better thinking and analyzing abilities. All these benefits of energy drinks seem quite attractive to adolescents who want to excel in academics, sports, and other extracurricular activities. An increase in consumption of these energy drinks leads to depression among teenagers and they tend to seek risky experiences, alcoholism, and drug abuse. It has also been observed that parents think that these drinks are harmless and therefore do not stop their children from getting addicted to these drinks.

As per a recent study published in Preventive Medicine, consumption of energy drinks has a direct correlation with teenage health issuessuch as elevated blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, and various digestive problems. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Waterloo and Dalhousie University. For the study, a sample population of approximately 8,210 high school students was taken. 

The study found that the students who were prone to depression and those who involved in risky behavior were more likely to consume energy drinks in comparison with the other teens.

It was found that almost two thirds of the teenagers comprising the sample population were consuming energy drinks at least once in the previous year and about 20% of the teenagers admitted consumption of energy drinks at least once or more per month. Another key observation of the study was that the more addicted the teenagers were to these caffeinated energy drinks, the more likely they were to be depressed and also involved in substance use, specifically marijuana and alcohol. The study found that risky behavior, wherein people get involved in novel but dangerous activities to seek excitement, was also more pronounced in teenagers who were consuming energy drinks. The study led to the conclusion that younger teenagers were more likely to consume energy drinks in comparison to their older peers. It was also found that boys were more likely to consume energy drinks than girls. The researchers suggested that the vast popularity of the energy drinks can be attributed to the fact that parents are not aware of the difference between an aerated drink such as Coke and an energy drink such as Red Bull.

The huge popularity of energy drinks in younger teens is largely due to the manner in which these drinks are marketed.

Adolescents become easy targets of the energy drink marketing campaigns that claim these drinks to be daring, rebellious, and thrilling.

The study found that the consumption of energy drinks was lower in the children of parents who were college educated. Kids who were raised by single parents were found to be more likely to consume energy drinks. Energy drinks are loaded with caffeine which can have serious consequences on the physical and mental health of teens.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • “An emerging adolescent health risk: Caffeinated energy drink consumption patterns among high school students”, by Sunday Azagba, et al. Published in the Volume 62, May 2014 issue of Preventive Medicine, accessed on April 15, 2014
  • “Caffeinated energy drinks—A growing problem” by Chad J. Reissig, et al. Published in the Volume 99, January 2009 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, accessed on April 15, 2014
  • Photo courtesy of Daniel Juřena by Flickr :
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