Sports, energy drinks linked to smoking, lots of screen media use

Sports and energy drink consumption tripled among U.S. adolescents in recent years.
By Alex Cukan  |  May 6, 2014 at 6:17 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, May 6 (UPI) -- U.S. teens who drank sports drinks and energy drinks weekly drank more sugary beverages, were more likely to smoke and more likely to spend a lot of time in front of computer, phone and TV screens.

Lead author Nicole Larson of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and colleagues at Duke University said sports and energy drink consumption tripled among U.S. adolescents in recent years, reported.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, found 38 percent of the teens in said they drank sports drinks and 15 percent said they drank energy drinks at least once a week.

The researchers used data gathered from 20 public middle schools and high schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area involving 2,793 adolescents with a mean age of 14.4 years during the 2009/2010 school year. Eighty-one percent said they were other than non-Hispanic white.

Teens who drank sports drinks at least once a week tended to be more physically active and more likely to participate in organized sports than their peers who did not drink sports drinks, but the sports drinks are high in sugar and other calories linked to weight gain and tooth decay.

"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 said in a statement.

"Boys who consumed energy drinks at least weekly spent approximately 4 additional hours per week playing video games compared to those who consumed energy drinks less than once per week."

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends teens drink sports only after vigorous, prolonged activity, and energy drinks should not be consumed because they offer no benefit and increase risk for over stimulation of the nervous system.

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