About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Identifying Ways to Reduce Potential Harm from Energy Drinks

by Bidita Debnath on October 8, 2017 at 11:53 PM
Font : A-A+

 Identifying Ways to Reduce Potential Harm from Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are widely promoted as products that increase alertness and enhance physical and mental performance. Because many countries allow the sale of energy drinks to young people, identifying ways to minimize potential harm from energy drinks is critical.

A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior provided unique insights into intervention strategies suggested by young people themselves to reduce consumption. In addition to more research and education, these strategies included policy changes targeting energy drink sales, packaging, price, and visibility.

Advertisement


Energy drinks, nonalcoholic beverages containing caffeine and other ingredients marketed as improving energy, concentration, metabolism, and performance account for more than $30 billion in sales from over 160 countries. Energy drinks can cause adverse health effects such as headaches, nausea, sleep difficulties, seizures, anxiety, cardiac abnormalities, and sudden death, with data in the United States and Australia indicating caffeine overdoses and adverse reactions to energy drinks are prevalent and increasing in adolescents. Thus, researchers from Australia used group interviews to explore knowledge of energy drinks, factors influencing consumption, and intervention strategies to decrease energy drink consumption in young people.

"We found confusion surrounding energy drinks, which suggests educational campaigns are needed to increase young people's knowledge," said lead author Jacinta Francis, PhD, of Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, Australia. "Likewise, interventions are needed to raise awareness about potential consequences of energy drinks and promote alternative ways to improve energy levels, such as good nutrition, physical activity, and adequate sleep."
Advertisement

Interviews were conducted with 41 people, aged 12 to 25 years, with groups arranged so that all participants fell within a 5-year range. Participants were recruited based on a convenience sample of those in the Perth area, of the correct age, who spoke English. A discussion guide was constructed and eight group interviews lasting 30 to 50 minutes were conducted by the same facilitator.

Respondents were familiar with energy drinks, with some previously consuming them in large quantities. The precise definition of an energy drink was complex, however, with confusion across all age groups as to whether coffee, sports drinks, nutritional supplements, and soft drinks were included. Some participants were aware energy drinks contained caffeine and sugar, but few could name other ingredients or how they influenced energy; serving size also caused confusion.

Participants reported easy accessibility to energy drinks and consuming the beverages for the perceived increase in energy. After increased energy, taste was the second most common reason for drinking energy drinks, but taste also proved to be a deterrent.

An understanding of the ingredients and health effects was also a deterrent to consuming energy drinks. Some participants were unaffected by energy drinks, but many reported experiencing negative physiological effects or knew someone who had. Peer pressure and social norms also influenced adolescent consumption, as did parental beliefs and behaviors, particularly among the youngest participants. Participants noted that energy drink advertisements, promotions, and giveaways all encouraged consumption.

As a result of the group discussions, participants suggested five broad strategies to reduce young people's energy drink consumption: (1) restrictions on sale and availability, (2) changing packaging, (3) increasing the price, (4) reducing visibility in retail outlets, and (5) conducting research and education.

"From the five key interventions identified by participants, those relating to research and education may need to be targeted to specific age groups," Francis added. "In addition, it would be helpful to implement and evaluate policies that regulate the marketing and promotion of energy drinks, as well as advocating for changes to warning labels and ingredients. Finally, implementing an adverse event reporting system, such as mandatory recording of hospital admissions related to energy drinks, may assist researchers and policy makers."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Caffeine and Decaffeination Energy Drinks – Power or Hype? 

Recommended Reading
Energy Drinks Can Increase Risk of Substance Use Disorder
Using energy drinks for too many years might increase the risk of substance use or other ......
Energy Drinks Can Cause Abnormal Heart Rhythm, Blood Pressure Changes
Sports drink contains caffeine, glucose or any sugar, minerals, fruit extract. It is now found that ...
Energy Drinks Intake may Affect Kids Mental Fitness
The intake of high concentrations of such methyl donors could also have side effects in humans....
Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks May Increase the Risk Of Injury
People who take alcohol and energy drinks together may have an increased risk of injury, reveals ......
Caffeine and Decaffeination
Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant alkaloid commonly found in many of the products we consume dail...
Energy Drinks – Power or Hype?
Energy drinks come with the promise of giving a boost during a workout unlike anything an energy ric...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use