Energy Drinks Predict Substance Use Among Adolescents

Energy Drinks Predict Substance Use Among Adolescents

Frequent energy drink (ED) consumption might be a screening indicator to identify students at risk of substance use or other risky/problem behaviors, according to a review of research published in the European Journal of Pediatrics (2022).

A comprehensive systematic review of the evidence on psychosocial correlates of ED consumption in 0–18-year-olds was conducted.

Research findings indicated a common pattern of ED consumption and polysubstance use, including alcohol, tobacco, and soft and hard drugs.

Violent and risky behaviors were also related to a higher ED consumption.

In addition, frequent ED consumers are more likely to have bad dietary habits, including consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and junk foods.

Lastly, sedentary behaviors were generally related to ED consumption.

The authors concluded that inquiring about an adolescent’s recent ED consumption could create opportunities for early prevention.

Adding a screening survey question about energy drink use could also be used to identify higher-risk youth in need of prevention intervention.

Integrating energy drink use within existing prevention programs is likely warranted.

View the research abstract:

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