A Pilot Study Evaluating Preferences for Caffeinated Drinks Consumption Among Mures Medical Students

Iustinian SIMION, Victoria RUS, Maria SALCUDEAN, Catalin Moise DOGAR, Monica TARCEA, Florina RUTA

Abstract


The scale of caffeinated drinks offered for young adults is large and also is the risk for abuse followed by heart or brain injuries due to high levels of caffeine, taurine, sugars etc. For this purpose, we chose to evaluate the risk behaviors in a group of Mures medical students and assess their practices and knowledge of excess caffeine drinks intake. For this study, we used a food frequency questionnaire containing 26 questions related to personal data, food behaviors, types of food and drink consumed and the frequency of consumption. The questionnaire was applied to 427 Mures medical students in 2016. On average, 2/3 of the Mures medical students associate an excess of coffee, energy drinks and other types of caffeinated beverages, especially during the exams period. From the list of preferred drinks that our students chose, in descending order, are: coffee, carbonated beverages, alcoholic beverages and energy drinks. Students often turn to alcoholic drinks, sometimes in combination with energy drinks, raising the risk for their health. 25% have only coffee in the morning, on empty stomach, skipping breakfast. More than half of them have at least 3 coffees per day, with possible health impact on long term. Our data emphasizes once more the importance of health education in schools and universities, especially for medical students and future doctors, and the need for efficient community interventions in order to prevent lifestyle behaviors at risk.

Keywords


caffeine intake; diet; energy drinks; health education.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15835/buasvmcn-fst:0006

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