Drinking energy drinks linked to health problems in teens
A new study has found that consumption of energy drinks among teenagers may be linked with poor mental health and substance use.
Researchers are calling for limits on teen's access to the drinks and reduction in the amount of the caffeine in each can.
The paper by researchers at the University of Waterloo and Dalhousie University, found that high school students prone to depression as well as those who smoke marijuana or drink alcohol are more likely to consume energy drinks than their peers.
"While it remains unclear why these associations exist, the trend is a concern because of the high rate of consumption among teenagers," Sunday Azagba, a researcher at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo and lead author on the paper, said.
"These drinks appeal to young people because of their temporary benefits like increased alertness, improved mood and enhanced mental and physical energy," Azagba said.
Among the 8210 high school students surveyed, nearly two thirds reported using energy drinks at least once in the past year, with more than 20 percent consuming them once or more per month. Younger high school students were more likely to consume energy drinks than older ones.
Energy drinks have been associated with a number of negative health effects, including cardiovascular symptoms, sleep impairment and nervousness and nausea. The side effects are caused by the beverages' high concentration of caffeine.
The study is published in the journal Preventive Medicine.
(Posted on 07-03-2014)