American researchers found that the regular consumption of sports drinks and energy drinks by adolescents causes them to ingest more sugary drinks than other kids, along with smoking more cigarettes and watching more TV and other screen devices -- all are considered by health experts to be unhealthy behaviors in adolescents.
The study -- published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior -- was authored by researchers from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) and Duke University (Durham).
They collected data from 2,793 adolescents from 20 public middle schools and high schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota area from 2009 to 2010.
The data included such items as their weight and height, along with the frequency of the consumption of sports and energy drinks. It also included how often they ate breakfast, how much physical activity they got each day, and how much time they spent playing video games.
The researchers found a parallel between smoking cigarettes, consumption of other sugary drinks (such as soda), and playing video games.
The researchers found the following:
- About 38 percent of the adolescents who were surveyed said they consumed sports drinks at least once a week. Fifteen percent said they consumed energy drinks at least once a week.
- Of the participants, the males who consumed energy drinks at least once a week spent about four more hours per week playing video games, compared to those who consumed energy drinks less often.
- About 20 percent of both males and females who frequently consumed energy drinks said they had smoked cigarettes, compared to about 8 percent of those adolescents who consumed energy drinks less often.
- Males who consumed sports drinks at least once a week also watched about an hour more television per week than boys who consumed sports drinks less often.
- Teenagers who consumed sports drinks and energy drinks at least once a week played more hours of video games than other teens who did not consume such drinks.
- Teens who consumed sports and energy drinks at least once a week also drank more servings of sugar-sweetened beverages and were more likely to have ever smoked cigarettes, compared to those teens who consumed sports and energy drinks less than once a week.
From the Medical News Today (MNT) article Sports drinks and energy drinks linked to unhealthy behaviors in adolescents, the lead author of the study, Nicole Larson, from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, is quoted: “Among boys, weekly sports drink consumption was significantly associated with higher TV viewing; boys who regularly consumed sports drinks spent about 1 additional hour per week watching TV, compared with boys who consumed sports drinks less than once per week.”
Larson added, “Boys who consumed energy drinks at least weekly spent approximately 4 additional hours per week playing video games, compared with those who consumed energy drinks less than once per week."
Overall, the more these adolescents and teens consumed sports and energy drinks the more they smoked (dangerous) cigarettes, the more they consumed other (high caloric) sugary drinks, and the more they played (sedentary) video games.
All three activities -- smoking tobacco products, drinking sugary drinks, and playing sedentary video games for long periods of time -- are considered undesirable activities among adolescents.
According to the MNT article, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) contends that sports drinks “should only be consumed by adolescents after vigorous and prolonged physical activity.”
And, the AAP contends that energy drinks “should not be consumed [at all by adolescents] as they offer no health benefits and increase risks for overstimulation of the nervous system.”
The researchers wrote in the paper, which appears in the May/June edition of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, that the findings “are troubling because they may indicate a clustering of problem behaviors among some adolescents.”
In the LiveScience.com article Sports & Energy Drink Consumption Linked to Unhealthy Teen Behaviors, Nicole Larson stated, “It is critical that adolescents and their parents are educated about the potential consequences associated with consuming sports and energy drinks, and that targeted advertising does not continue to encourage them to purchase these beverages.”
By William Atkins
07 May 2014
The Newhawks Crew
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Undesirable behaviors found in adolescents drinking sports and energy drinks