Energy Drinks May be Harmful for Teenagers

April 20, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. susceptibility /səˌsɛpəˈbɪlɪ (n.) – the condition of being affected or influenced easily
Example: Having an unhealthy lifestyle increases a person’s susceptibility to disease.

2. intake /ˈɪnˌteɪk/ (n.) – the act of taking in substances into the body
Example: High intake of sweets may lead to diabetes.

3. likely /ˈlaɪk (adj.) – refers to something that is possible to happen
Example: Drunk driving is likely to cause car accidents.

4. prevalent /ˈprɛvəənt/ (adj.) – widely existing, common, or widespread
Example: Smoking and drinking are prevalent among teenagers nowadays.

5. outweigh /ˌaʊtˈweɪ/ (v.) – to be more valuable or important than the other
Example: The disadvantages of drinking sodas outweigh its advantages


Read the text below.
A recent study revealed that consuming energy drinks is associated with poor mental health and susceptibility to substance use.

Researchers from the University of Waterloo and Dalhousie University conducted the research. They conducted a survey among 8,210 public high school students in Canada.

Nowadays, the top consumers of energy drinks are teenagers. In fact, results of the survey revealed that 62 percent of the students who participated consume energy drink at least once last year.

Advertising and marketing strategies magnify the benefits of the drink instead of the harmful side effects. Sunday Azagba, lead author of the study, notes that instant energy, better mood, and physical alertness make the drink very appealing. However, the health risks of the drink outweigh its benefits.

Energy drinks contain high amount of caffeine that is dangerous to health, especially for teenagers. Too much intake of high boosting energy drinks is connected with nervousness, increased heart rate, sleep problems and even depression. In addition, drinkers are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. It is also associated with violent and adventure-seeking behaviors that are prevalent among teenagers.

In order to avoid the negative effects of energy drinks, Azagba suggests that the teenagers’ access to drinks should be limited. Also, public awareness about the dangers of the drinks should be promoted and the caffeine content of the drink should be minimized.

While these measures may not entirely solve this problem, Azagba believes that taking these steps can help lessen the health risks linked to energy drinks.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         With the results of the study, do you think energy drinks should be banned? Why or why not?
·         What other drinks do you think should be avoided by teenagers? Explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         In your country, what types of drinks are popular among teenagers?
·         What are your favorite drinks? Why do you like these drinks?


April 20, 2014