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Acute effects of energy drinks on behavioural sanctions in secondary school children: A preliminary study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gareth RichardsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


A large body of research suggests that diet can exert significant effects on behaviour, mood, and cognition. Ofparticular concern in recent years has been the rapid rise in popularity of highly caffeinated energy drinks, withsome suggesting that they may negatively impact the performance, behaviour and health of schoolchildren. Thecurrent study aimed to assess whether these products exert acute effects on the likelihood of children receivingdetentions. In addition, another known risk factor, the omission of breakfast, was also recorded. Participants inthe current study came from a cohort of 3071 pupils attending three secondary schools in the South West ofEngland. Those who were given a detention during a weeklong period of December 2013 (N = 40) were asked tostate whether or not they had consumed an energy drink and eaten breakfast that day. The results were thencompared to a control day later in the same week on which detentions had not been received. The children givendetention were found to be more likely to habitually consume energy drinks and skip breakfast than otherchildren in the cohort from which they came. The major difference between detention and control days was thaton detention days there was an increase in both missing breakfast and consuming energy drinks. Thoughconclusions must be tentative due to the preliminary nature of the study, the results indicate that breakfastintervention programmes and restricting energy drink consumption may be effective methods for reducingproblem behaviour in secondary schools.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Richards G, Millward N, Evans P, Rogers J, Smith AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Food Research

Year: 2015

Volume: 4

Issue: 4

Pages: 1-9

Online publication date: 10/04/2015

Acceptance date: 08/04/2015

Date deposited: 05/07/2018

ISSN (print): 1927-0887

ISSN (electronic): 1927-0895

Publisher: Canadian Center of Science and Education


DOI: 10.5539/jfr.v4n4p1


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