Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Energy Drinks are Worse Than Games: Real Science Edition


A new study indicates energy drinks can trigger the same behavior as other studies say are triggered by games:
In March, The Journal of American College Health published a report on the link between energy drinks, athletics and risky behavior. The study's author, Kathleen Miller, an addiction researcher at the University of Buffalo, says it suggests that high consumption of energy drinks is associated with "toxic jock" behavior, a constellation of risky and aggressive behaviors including unprotected sex, substance abuse and violence.
Imagine the impact of telling a high school guy energy drinks lead to sex. I bet sales will go way down. It's good to be out of the headlines for a second. The drink studies get the benefit of an intelligent interpretation of the data. Rather than equating correlation to causation, they identify the attraction to energy drinks as an indication of personality type.
The finding doesn't mean the drinks cause bad behavior. But the data suggest that regular consumption of energy drinks may be a red flag for parents that their children are more likely to take risks with their health and safety. "It appears the kids who are heavily into drinking energy drinks are more likely to be the ones who are inclined toward taking risks," Miller said.
While this concept is hinted at in some of the game violence studies, it is never spelled out so clearly. The only unanswered question is whether drinking energy drinks while you play Halo will cause more violence, or cancel each other out.





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