Energy drinks tied to unhealthy teen behavior
Not only are sports and energy drinks not as healthy as advertised because of their high sugar content, but now a study concludes that teenagers who consume them regularly are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking cigarettes or playing video games for hours.
For the study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, roughly 2,800 middle and high school students in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area took a survey regarding their frequency of consuming sports or energy drinks and their other behaviors. Thirty-eight percent of students said they consume sports drinks at least once a week. Fifteen percent said they do the same with energy drinks.
Based on the survey, the teens who consumed these drinks once a week also exhibited longer hours playing video games (four more hours), drank more sugary beverages, and were more likely to smoke cigarettes compared to teens who consumed these drinks less than once a week. About 20 percent of teens who drank sports and energy drinks regularly had also smoked cigarettes, compared to only eight percent of those who consumed these drinks less frequently.
Because the study focused on one point in time, it’s unclear if the unhealthy behaviors began before or after the regular consumption of energy and sports drinks. The research noted further studies are needed to determine if these beverages do encourage unhealthy behaviors.