Aldona Gružienė, Lina Malcienė, Sigita Kerzienė, Greta Pečiulytė, Saulius Andruškevičius, Kristina Norkaitytė
Objectives. The aim of our study was to analyze the prevalence of usage of energy drinks, causes of energy drinks consumption and knowledge about the effects of energy drinks on the body among foreign and Lithuanian students of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (the LUHS). Material and Methods. A total of N=322 aged of 21 year old students of LUHS were interviewed using a survey. Two thirds of the sample consisted of Lithuanian students (69%, n=222) and one third of the sample consisted of students come from abroad (Spain, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Israel, Lebanon) (31%. n=100). The survey consisted of seven multiple-choice questions and one open ended question. All participants were asked to show their knowledge about the effects of energy drinks. Results. The study showed that 61% of the surveyed foreign students consumed energy drinks often and none of them perceived their usage as “rare”. Male (54,9 %) students consumed energy drinks more often than female (50,3%). The majority of Lithuanian and foreign students consumed energy drinks during studying to improve mental functioning (72,4 %). There were significantly more foreign students (29,5%) encouraged to use energy drinks by friends than Lithuanians (10,1%). Study also showed that Lithuanian compared with foreign students have a better knowledge of energy drinks effect on the blood pressure, insomnia and possibility to lead to overdosing. A p-value of <0,05 indicated significance in all studies. Conclusions. In Lithuania, as in other countries, the consumption of energy drinks among students is common. The majority of questioned students consume energy drinks to improve mental activity. The students of LUHS state that they are aware of the impact of energy drinks on the body, but our study revealed that not all the possible effects of energy drinks are known. The fact that more than half of the respondents consume these drinks shows a lack of critical evaluation of existing knowledge.
Keyword(s): energy drinks; effects; consumers; consumption of caffeine.
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