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Teens: Energy Drink a Day May Not Give You Wings
Within one to two hours after consuming a Red Bull, or other energy drinks like it, that statement certainly seems to ring true. Studies have shown that alertness and cognitive functioning receive a temporary jolt. But what about habitual use of energy drinks? Well, that's less studied, especially among adolescents.
Editor's Note: This article was provided by our partner, RealClearScience. The original is here.
Red Bull gives you wings. Everybody knows that!
Within one to two hours after consuming a Red Bull, or other energy drinks like it, that statement certainly seems to ring true. Studies have shown that alertness and cognitive functioning receive a temporary jolt.
But what about habitual use of energy drinks? Well, that's less studied, especially among adolescents.
Filling the void is a study just published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Researchers from VU University in Amsterdam surveyed 509 teenagers with an average age of 13 about their use of caffeine and energy drinks. They also had the teens and their parents separately take an in-depth, often used test to assess any behavioral issues the subjects might have, their cognitive abilities, and their quality of sleep. From the test, the researchers formed two indices: the Behavior Regulation Index (BRI) and the Metacognition Index (MI).
"The BRI represents the ability to shift cognitive set and modulate behavior and emotions, whereas the MI represents the ability to plan, organize, initiate, and hold information in mind for future-oriented problem solving," the researchers explained.
6% of teens in the study reported consuming more than one energy drink per day. Those who reported consuming energy drinks at that rate scored slightly higher than average on both the BRI and the MI, indicating more problems with metacognitive skills and behavioral regulation. Caffeine use from other drinks was not associated with any behavioral or metacognitive deficits.
Let's get skeptical. The use of self-reported data was both a plus and a minus. While it grants the study real-world validity, self-reporting is notoriously inaccurate because people aren't very good at remembering what they eat our drink. Moreover, the researchers weren't able to directly measure how much caffeine the teens were drinking. The sample size of over 500 could have offset some inaccuracies, but it would have been nice to have it larger for a study like this. And of course, the study was correlational, so no causative links can be confirmed.
"It is possible that young adolescents that tend to consume caffeine and 3 EDs may do so because of their - already - compromised executive functions," the researchers admit.
The current study isn't perfect by any means, but it is a decent initial attempt to examine the effects of energy drinks on adolescents' cognitive function. More research on the matter is certainly warranted. Between 30 and 50% of adolescents and young adults consume energy drinks, and the effects of their habitual use on teens over prolonged periods is essentially unstudied. Remember, caffeine is a psychoactive substance, and since energy drinks are considered dietary supplements, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the amount of the drug that can be added to them. Occasionally consuming an energy drink is of no concern, but drinking one or two a day may very well give rise to unintended consequences for a developing brain.
Source: Tamara V. Batenburg-Eddes, Nikki C. Lee, Wouter D. Weeda, Lydia Krabbendam and Mariette Huizinga. "The potential adverse effect of energy drinks on executive functions in early adolescence." Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00457
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.