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Review
, 72 Suppl 1 (0 1), 87-97

Evidence and Knowledge Gaps for the Association Between Energy Drink Use and High-Risk Behaviors Among Adolescents and Young Adults

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Review

Evidence and Knowledge Gaps for the Association Between Energy Drink Use and High-Risk Behaviors Among Adolescents and Young Adults

Amelia M Arria et al. Nutr Rev.

Abstract

Sales of energy drinks have increased rapidly since their introduction to the marketplace in the 1990s. Despite the health concerns raised about these beverages, which are often highly caffeinated, surprisingly little data are available to estimate the prevalence of their use. This review presents the results of secondary data analyses of a nationally representative data set of schoolchildren in the United States and reviews the available research on the association between energy drink use and risk-taking behaviors. Approximately one-third of the students surveyed were recent users of energy drinks, with substantial variation by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Among the health and safety concerns related to energy drinks and their consumption is the possible potentiation of risk-taking behaviors. The review of available research reveals that, although there does appear to be a strong and consistent positive association between the use of energy drinks and risk-taking behavior, all but one of the available studies used cross-sectional designs, thereby limiting the ability to make inferences about the temporal nature of the association. Thus, more research is needed to understand the nature of this association and how energy drinks, particularly those containing caffeine, might impact adolescent health and safety, especially given the high prevalence of their use among youth.

Keywords: adolescents; caffeine; energy drinks; energy shots; risk-taking behavior.

Conflict of interest statement

DECLARATION OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The authors have no relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Figure 1a Prevalence of recent CCED use, by gender, race/ethnicity, and grade. Figure 1b Prevalence of recent energy shot use, by gender, race/ethnicity, and grade.
Figure 1
Figure 1
Figure 1a Prevalence of recent CCED use, by gender, race/ethnicity, and grade. Figure 1b Prevalence of recent energy shot use, by gender, race/ethnicity, and grade.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Prevalence of recent use of CCEDs and/or shots, by grade and year.

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