Prevalence of energy drink consumption and association with dietary habits among governmental university students in Riyadh
Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences
To determine the prevalence of Energy Drinks (ED) consumption, and the adverse effects experienced by consumers among governmental university students in Riyadh, and to assess the relationship between ED consumption and dietary habits. This is a cross-sectional study carried out in 2020 in a random sample of students at government universities in Riyadh (King Saud University (KSU) and Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU). The study was conducted within a time frame of 3 months
... included a total of 546 students. The data collection tool was an online self-administered questionnaire that included three sections. The first section addressed the characteristics of the students, the second section addressed ED consumption, and the third section addressed the dietary habits of ED consumers. A SPSS software-based analysis revealed that the percentage of ED consumers in our cohort was 29.3%. Moreover, we found a significant association between ED consumption and consumption of fewer than three meals, skipping breakfast, and fast food intake (v 2 = 0.002, P = 0.364; v 2 = 0.028, P = 0.341; and (v 2 = 0.010, P = 0.369, respectively), with moderate correlation. No association was found between the consumption of EDs and that of fruits, vegetables, and snacks. Moreover, 36% of the consumers experienced jolt-and-crash symptoms and signs after ED consumption, with 84.5% of them exhibiting increased consumption of salty snacks, sweets, and fast food during the episodes. Our findings showed that ED consumption is not a common practice among governmental university students in Riyadh. Furthermore, the consumption of EDs was correlated with unhealthy dietary habits. Creating educational programs for school going students and providing healthy alternative options to the students is highly recommend. Future research should be conducted using a larger sample and including universities from the private sector, to compare the results.