Energy drink: the consumption prevalence, and awareness of its potential health implications among commercial drivers in the Ho Municipality of Ghana
Background Consumption of energy drinks has become an escalating global public health problem. The work schedule and irregular sleeping habits of commercial bus drivers make them highly susceptible to getting fatigued, hence most of them consume energy drinks as a fatigue management strategy. However, consumption of energy drinks produces numerous psychomotor side effects that if consumed among drivers puts the traveling public in danger of road accidents. This study sought to assess the
... o assess the prevalence of energy drink consumption and awareness of associated potential health problems among commercial long-distance bus drivers operating from the Ho municipality. Methods This was a cross-sectional study involving 132 participants who completed a structured questionnaire on the participants' socio-demographic characteristics, frequency of consumption and reasons for consumption. It also included questions to assess the knowledge of the ingredients and side effects of energy drinks. Results A majority (62.1%) of the drivers had more than 10 years of commercial driving experience. A 75% energy drink consumption prevalence was recorded with driving performance enhancement (78.8%) as the predominant reason for consumption. 7 - 10 bottles per week were consumed by most (32.2%) of the drivers with the most consumed brand being Rush energy drink (54.5%). Also, 72.0% had poor knowledge of the side effects linked with energy drink intake likewise the ingredients in them. Conclusion Energy drinks were consumed by the majority of the drivers at the Ho main bus terminal of which most of the drivers had poor knowledge of the potential health problems linked with the consumption of these drinks. The consumption of energy drinks was observed to be higher among the drivers with lower education levels, higher monthly income and those who worked long hours in a day. The Ghana National Road Safety Commission (GNRC) in collaboration with other private road transport unions in Ghana should organize regular seminars for commercial bus drivers on the potential dangers and effects associated with energy drink consumption.