Alarming High Levels of Energy Drinks Consumption among School Children in Hail, Northern of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia (KSA) is one among the countries for top energy drink markets. Amid growing controversies globally surrounding the increasing usage of energy drinks by children, it is felt important to understand how these trends are reflected in KSA. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to explore the trends of energy drink consumption among, and differences between, middle and secondary school children, and the associated socioeconomic and behavioral factors. Randomly selected 1006 male children from secondary and middle schools from Hail region in KSA were included in the study, using a self-administered validated questionnaire. Results revealed that about 60% of school children were current energy drink consumers. Secondary school children were significantly (P<0.001) higher than middle schoolers in terms of both frequency and quantity. Concomitantly, unhealthy dietary and lifestyle behaviors were reported in significantly higher proportions (P<0.001) among secondary school children. Home was the first place for exposure for majority of children while unreliable resources were the major sources of knowledge about energy drink composition and health effects. Poor knowledge concerning energy drink composition was reported. Taste and being energized were the major driving forces for energy drink consumption. Higher disposable income on hand and poor lifestyle behaviors were all significantly associated with energy drink consumption. It can be concluded that high proportion of energy drink consumption was reported among school children in Hail, with higher proportions in secondary than middle schools. This matter raises the significance of mounting awareness of community concerning the ingredients and potential hazards of energy drinks.
Energy drinks, School children, Lifestyle Behaviors.
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