26 April 2017 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

PURPOSE: The aims of the study were to: a) examine the prevalence of energy drink (ED) and alcohol mixed with energy drink (AmED) consumption; b) investigate the relationships between ED and AmED with alcohol, binge drinking and drugs accounting for at risk behaviors among a representative sample of Italian adolescents.

METHODS: A representative sample of 30,588 Italian high school students, aged 15-19years, was studied. Binary and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the independent association of the potential predictors' characteristics with the ED and AmED drinking during the last year.

RESULTS: Respectively 41.4% and 23.2% of respondents reported drinking EDs and AmEDs in the last year. Multivariate analysis revealed that consumption of EDs and AmEDs during the last year were significantly associated with daily smoking, binge drinking, use of cannabis and other psychotropic drugs. Among life habits and risky behaviors the following were positively associated: going out with friends for fun, participating in sports, experiencing physical fights/accidents or injury, engaging in sexual intercourse without protection and being involved in accidents while driving.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the popularity of ED and AmED consumption among the Italian school population aged 15-19 years old: 4 out of 10 students consumed EDs in the last year and 2 out of 10 AmED. Multivariate analysis highlighted the association with illicit drug consumption and harming behaviors, confirming that consumption of EDs and AmEDs is a compelling issue especially during adolescence, as it can effect health as well as risk taking behaviors.

26 April 2017 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

OBJECTIVE: The present study is a systematic review of the literature examining the relationship between alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) and injury. The study provides a summary and critical analysis of the current literature.

METHOD: The review was conducted using PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews. Studies included in the review were those that quantified the relationship between AmED use and injury risk relative to alcohol only. Records were considered along the following theme areas: controlled for drinking behaviors, controlled for impulsivity or risk-taking propensity, examined sex differences, and self-reported injury outcomes for (a) AmED versus alcohol consumers and (b) AmED versus alcohol sessions.

RESULTS: The results support the association between AmED and increased risk of injury; however, substantial variability in harm outcomes and methodology makes it difficult to determine the extent of this risk.

CONCLUSIONS: There is significant need for further examination of the role of AmED use in the risk of injury. A better understanding of the relationship between AmED use and injury and of the potential underlying mechanisms is crucial for informing effective preventive intervention strategies. This review can be used to inform the public and health practitioners of the risks associated with AmED use. Further, translating this knowledge to policy makers could inform regulations on the availability of AmED, with the goal of reducing injury-related outcomes.

01 February 2017 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Alcohol contributes to approximately 30% of all serious crashes. While the majority of drivers acknowledge the risks associated with drink-driving, a significant proportion of the population continue to engage in this behaviour. Attitudes towards drink-driving as well as personal alcohol consumption patterns are likely to underpin a driver's decision to drink-drive. These associations were explored in the current study.

METHODS: A large (N=2994) cross-sectional online survey of a representative sample of drivers in Australia was conducted. Participants provided information about their own alcohol consumption patterns, drink-driving behaviour as well as attitudes towards drink-driving (own and others) and enforcement strategies.

RESULTS: Alcohol consumption patterns differed according to age, gender and work status. Drivers who reported drink-driving behaviour and had high risk alcohol consumption patterns were less likely to agree that drink-driving leads to increased crash risk and more likely to agree they drink and drive when they believed they could get away with it. In contrast, drivers who did not report drink-driving and had low risk consumption patterns were more likely to report that the enforcement strategies are too lenient. Binary logistic regression showed that high risk alcohol consumption patterns and agreement from drivers that they drink and drive when they believe they can get away with it had the strongest associations with drink-driving. These findings highlight the relationships between one's drinking patterns, drink-drive behaviour and attitudes towards drink-driving and drink-driving enforcement.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: The patterns of associations that emerged suggest that drink-driving is the expression of a broader health issue for the most "at-risk" cohort of drinkers. The decision to drink and drive may result from a need borne from an alcohol dependent lifestyle exacerbated by a social acceptability of the behaviour and positive attitudes towards one's ability to drink-drive with few adverse consequences. Therefore, the broader alcohol consumption patterns of drink-drivers needs to be considered when targeting drink-drive reductions.

04 December 2014 In Social and Cultural Aspects

PURPOSE: Exposure to alcohol use in media is associated with adolescent alcohol use. Adolescents frequently display alcohol references on Internet media, such as social networking web sites. The purpose of this study was to conduct a theoretically based content analysis of older adolescents' displayed alcohol references on a social networking web site.

METHODS: We evaluated 400 randomly selected public MySpace profiles of self-reported 17- to 20-year-olds from zip codes, representing urban, suburban, and rural communities in one Washington county. Content was evaluated for alcohol references, suggesting: (1) explicit versus figurative alcohol use, (2) alcohol-related motivations, associations, and consequences, including references that met CRAFFT problem drinking criteria. We compared profiles from four target zip codes for prevalence and frequency of alcohol display.

RESULTS: Of 400 profiles, 225 (56.3%) contained 341 references to alcohol. Profile owners who displayed alcohol references were mostly male (54.2%) and white (70.7%). The most frequent reference category was explicit use (49.3%); the most commonly displayed alcohol use motivation was peer pressure (4.7%). Few references met CRAFFT problem drinking criteria (3.2%). There were no differences in prevalence or frequency of alcohol display among the four sociodemographic communities.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite alcohol use being illegal and potentially stigmatizing in this population, explicit alcohol use is frequently referenced on adolescents' MySpace profiles across several sociodemographic communities. Motivations, associations, and consequences regarding alcohol use referenced on MySpace appear consistent with previous studies of adolescent alcohol use. These references may be a potent source of influence on adolescents, particularly given that they are created and displayed by peers.

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