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Perceptions and Practices Related to Consumption of ‘Energy Drinks'
Energy drinks are becoming increasingly popular in India. There is a need to understand the extent of consumption and perceptions among consumers. There are no studies in India in this direction. This study aimed to assess the perceptions and practices related to consumption of energy drinks among consumers. A cross-sectional study was conducted among students (n=132) and employed persons (n=48) of 13–40 yrs age, who were purposively selected using snowballing technique. Only those who have ever consumed energy drinks were included as subjects. Those consuming at least twice a month were categorized as frequent consumers. A pretested and pre-coded questionnaire with open-ended (5) and closed-ended questions (26) was administered in interview mode. Descriptive statistics and chi-square test were used for analysis. Frequent consumers were more among students (47%) than in working group (14.6%). Significantly (p<0.05) higher number of participants from high socio-economic groups (71%) reported higher consumption of energy drinks than their middle and low-income counterparts. A majority (53.3%) were introduced to energy drinks by their peers. Participants mostly consumed energy drinks when hanging-out with friends (56.1%), during parties (43.3%), when they feel tired (36.1%) and during performance (28.8%). Consumers were using energy drinks for taste (64.4%), flavour (60.6%), and to feel energetic (57.2%). Frequent consumers (53.3%) assume that energy drinks give extra energy. Considering that there are hardly any studies in India in this direction, the study provides information that even frequent consumers of energy drinks were unaware that energy drinks are caffeinated beverages and their knowledge about health benefits/effects was varied and scanty. Most of them perceive that energy drinks provide ‘extra energy’ and are ‘beneficial’ to health. This myth should be dispelled.
Energy Drinks, Perceptions, Practices, Hanging-Out With Friends, Peers.
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