The objective of the current study was to evaluate young Canadians’ exposure to caffeinated energy drink marketing and educational messages that warn about the potential health risks of energy drinks. An online survey was conducted in 2015 with youth and young adults aged 12–24 years recruited from a national online panel (n
= 2023). Respondents were asked about their exposure to energy drink marketing and educational messages that warn about the potential health risks of energy drinks. Regression models were fitted to examine correlates of exposure to marketing and to educational messages. Over 80% of respondents reported ever seeing energy drink marketing through at least one channel, most commonly television (58.8%), posters or signs in a convenience or grocery store (48.5%), and online ads (45.7%). The mean number of marketing channels selected was 3.4 (SD = 2.9) out of ten. Respondents aged 18–19 (vs. 12–14 and 15–17) and 20–24 (vs. 12–14 and 15–17) reported significantly more channels of exposure to marketing. Overall, 32% of respondents reporting ever seeing an educational message about energy drinks. The most frequently reported sources of exposure were at school (16.2%), online (15.0%), and on television (12.6%). Respondents aged 18–19 (vs. 12–14, 15–17 and 20–24) and 20–24 (vs. 15–17) were significantly more likely to report having seen an educational message. Exposure to energy drink marketing was common among youth and young adults and was significantly more prevalent than exposure to educational messages that warn about the potential health risks of energy drinks. A comprehensive policy approach, including enforcing responsible marketing and increasing education surrounding the risks of consuming energy drinks, may be an effective approach in promoting lower-risk consumption of CEDs.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited