Energy drinks and risk-taking among college students

Science Daily reports on two studies conducted at the University of Buffalo:

[One study by Kathleen Miller found that] frequent energy drink consumers (six or more days a month)… were approximately three times as likely than less-frequent energy drink consumers or non-consumers to have smoked cigarettes, abused prescription drugs and been in a serious physical fight in the year prior to the survey. They reported drinking alcohol, having alcohol-related problems and using marijuana about twice as often as non-consumers.

They were also more likely to engage in other forms of risk-taking, including unsafe sex, not using a seatbelt, participating in an extreme sport and doing something dangerous on a dare.

[A second study by Miller] found that undergraduates who consumed energy drinks more often were also more likely to develop a jock identity and to engage in risk-taking behaviors. “Ultimately,” she says, “undergraduates’ frequent use of Red Bull and other energy drinks should be seen by peers, parents and college officials as a potential predictor of ‘toxic jock identity.'”

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