Shoshanna Goldin, a high school student, has done research on the impact of energy drinks on teenagers. Her findings and recommendations are extraordinary.
Energy drinks were first introduced in 1997. Red Bull was the first drink. There are extreme variations in caffine and stimulants between different brands of energy drinks. One can of Monster, for instance, is the equivilent of 72 cans of Coke in caffine and stimulants.
In five years, there has been a 516% increase in sales of energy drinks, with the fastest growing segment of customers being middle school and elementary school children. 80% of 14 year olds have tried an energy drink. One third of 12 year olds have.
Additional resarch shows that a teenager who has consumed an energy drink is 2 times as likely to be involved in a car accident or sexual assault. If the energy drink is mixed with alcohol, the research shows the teenager is 4 times more likley to have an accident or be involved in a sexual assault.
Shoshanna makes four recommendations with regard to energy drinks. 1) Additional education on stimulants and energy drinks is needed for educators 2) Additional education on stimulants and energy drinks is needed for parents 3) Additional education on stimulants and energy drinks is needed for peditricians and 4) further research to determine if the sale of energy drinks should be regulated.
Earlier this year Shoshanna was the National Winner for the Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition. This is a national public health competition that encourages teenagers to pursue public health research while still in high school.
Shoshanna won the top award a $50,000 scholarship for the work she did concerning teen awareness of the risks pertaining to high-energy drink consumption.
Appearing on Brainstormin’ with Billy the Brain is probably the second biggest thrill Shoshanna has had this year. Earlier this year, Shoshanna spoke with President Obama at an event he hosted at the White House for the teen winners of math and science competitions.
Listen to this insighful, articulate teenager’s interview below: