March 2, 2015
Results from a new study show that children who consume energy drinks are significantly more likely than children who don’t drink the sugary, caffeinated beverages to be at risk for hyperactive and inattentive behaviors.
According to the study, published in the Journal of Academic Pediatrics, researchers at the Yale School of Public Health found that middle-school children who drank an average of two highly sweetened energy drinks per day were 66% more likely to exhibit behaviors associated with hyperactivity. As the number of drinks increased, so too did the risk for these behaviors.
The study, led by professor Jeannette Ickovics, director of the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement at Yale, surveyed 1,649 middle-school students from an urban school district in Connecticut.
Other findings from the study included the following:
- Boys were more likely than girls to consume energy drinks
- Black and Hispanic boys were more likely than white boys to drink these beverages
While the researchers acknowledge that more studies are needed to fully understand the relationship of sugary beverages to hyperactivity, Ickovics is clear on the message adults should take away from these findings:
“Our results support the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that parents should limit consumption of sweetened beverages and that children should not consume any energy drinks.”