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Comparative Study
. 2018 Nov 1;15(11):2429.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112429.

Intensity of Energy Drink Use Plus Alcohol Predict Risky Health Behaviours Among University Students in the Caribbean

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Free PMC article
Comparative Study

Intensity of Energy Drink Use Plus Alcohol Predict Risky Health Behaviours Among University Students in the Caribbean

Sandra D Reid et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The relationship between energy drink (ED) use and risky behaviours has not been explored in the Caribbean, where youth risky behaviours are prevalent. This paper examines the relationship between ED use and risky behaviours and the moderating effect of gender among 1994 undergraduate students in Trinidad and Tobago. Analyses examined the association between ED use and risky behaviours, and the significant predictors of risky behaviours. Analysis of variance determined whether there were differences in risky behaviours between those who used only alcohol or EDs, both alcohol and EDs, alcohol mixed with EDs and neither alcohol nor EDs; and the difference between those with high and low intensity of ED use. In both males and females current use of energy drinks was positively associated with harmful substance use, risky sexual behaviours, and risky non-sexual behaviours, more strongly for males. The strongest predictor of risky behaviours was gender. Males consuming both alcohol and EDs, independently or mixed, were most likely to have risky behaviours. Consistent with previous reports, harmful alcohol use and other risk taking health behaviours appear to be predicted by a combination of high intensity use of EDs and alcohol. In countries like Trinidad and Tobago where violence, alcohol use disorders, STI/HIV infection and teenaged pregnancy are prevalent, the assessment of consumption of EDs and alcohol may be an important potential predictor of health compromising behaviours.

Keywords: AmEDs; Caribbean; Trinidad and Tobago; alcohol; energy drinks; health behaviours; risky behaviours.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Energy drinks mainly consumed.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Use of alcohol within gender.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Mean scores for risky behavior based on use of drinks.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Interaction effect of alcohol use (yes/no) on the relationship between intensity of energy drinks use (1–5/6 or more drinks) and overall risky behavior.
Figure 5
Figure 5
Interaction effect of gender on the relationship between intensity of energy drinks (1–5/6 or more drinks) and overall risky behavior.
Figure 6
Figure 6
Interaction effect of gender on the relationship between intensity of ED use and non-sexual risk.
Figure 7
Figure 7
Interaction effect of alcohol use on the relationship between intensity of ED use and non-sexual risk.

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