Energy drinks in children and adolescents: demographic data and immediate effects

Abstract

Energy drinks consumption has become increasingly common in the last few years, despite evidence associating these products with vast adverse health effects. This led us to explore the phenomenon of energy drinks consumption in adolescents in the Israeli Arab population of the Nazareth area (Northern Israel), examining their awareness of risks associated with consumption of energy drinks, investigating their immediate effects on the body. Our study revealed that the consumption of energy drinks is very common in adolescents of both sexes, though more common in boys. Of 375 students who filled out the questionnaire, 206 reported that they consumed energy drinks (55%), 91 were male (44.4%), and 115 were female (55.6%). In the experimental stage of this study, we found that energy drinks significantly increased systolic blood pressure in most participants within a brief period of time after drinking.

Conclusion: Given the prevalence of energy drinks consumption and their side effects, it is important to increase awareness of the risks associated with their regular use and to combat this phenomenon through the education system in schools.

What is Known:
Energy drinks consumption has become popular and frequent among adolescents across the world.
The immediate effects of energy drinks in children and adolescents are poorly described.
What is New:
Religious and social norms are not a barrier to ED consumption among the varied investigated population.
Our study describes the immediate effect of energy drinks during the first 2 h after consumption, revealing systolic blood pressure to be significantly increased.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Abbreviations

ED:

Energy drink

EDs:

Energy drinks

FDA:

Food and Drug Administration

PDE:

Phosphodiesterase

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Funding

This study was not funded by any institution or organization.

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Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Bshara Mansour drafted the initial manuscript, revised the analyses, and revised the final manuscript as submitted. Nael Elias carried out the initial analyses, revised the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript as submitted. Wesam Amarah and Elias Nasralla finalized data collection forms and supervised the data collection.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bshara Mansour.

Ethics declarations

Ethical standard

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Saint Vincent De Paul Hospital and has therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. Parents of respondents were informed about the study via the school administration and the investigators; they gave their informed consent prior to inclusion of their children in the study and could opt out if they disagreed with their childs participation. Participation in the study was fully voluntary and anonymous with no explicit incentives provided for participation.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Communicated by Mario Bianchetti

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Mansour, B., Amarah, W., Nasralla, E. et al. Energy drinks in children and adolescents: demographic data and immediate effects. Eur J Pediatr 178, 649–656 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03342-7

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Keywords

  • Energy drinks (EDs)
  • Consumption
  • Caffeine
  • Adolescents
  • Addiction
  • Toxicity