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Sports And Energy Drink Consumption Associated With Other Negative Behaviors

Update Date: May 06, 2014 09:40 AM EDT

Weekly consumption of sports drinks and energy drinks among adolescents is associated with higher consumption of other sugar-sweetened beverages, cigarette smoking and screen media use, according to new study. 

Recently a national data showed a decline in the prevalence of soft drinks and fruit drinks consumption. Meanwhile it found that sports and other energy drinks consumption tripled among adolescents in the same period. 

Health professionals are concerned regarding high caffeine content of energy drinks and high sugar and calorie content of many sports drinks. 

The study is based on the data gathered from 20 public middle schools and high schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota as part of the population-based study, Eating and Activity in Teens (EAT 2010).

Around 2,700 adolescents took part in the survey during the 2009-2010 school year and their mean was calculated to be around 14 years. Participants were equally divided by gender and 81 percent of them were identified as a racial/ethnic background other than non-Hispanic white.

"Of note, among boys, weekly sports drink consumption was significantly associated with higher TV viewing; boys who regularly consumed sports drinks spent about one additional hour per week watching TV compared with boys who consumed sports drinks less than once per week," said lead author Nicole Larson, PhD, MPH, RDN, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in the press release. 

"As another example, boys who consumed energy drinks at least weekly spent approximately four additional hours per week playing video games compared to those who consumed energy drinks less than once per week."

According to recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, sports drink should be consumed by adolescents only after vigorous, prolonged activity. The recommendations also suggest adolescents to avoid energy drinks as they offer no benefit and increases risks for overstimulation of the nervous system.  

The study has been published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

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