Sunday, July 31, 2011

Energy Drink Use: Communicating about Study Design

ARTICLE:    “Study looks at musicians, use of energy drinks:  Researchers suggest link to misuse of other legal substances.”  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  [Milwaukee]  12 July 2011, 2E.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:  Don't judge a story.  That's the job of your sources.


Interview with researcher
1)  Have you looked at other cohorts (skateboarders/surfers, BMX bikers/X Game athletes, video gamers)?
2)  How do musicians in the cohort you studied perceive the health risks of these drinks?
3)  In addition to caffeine, what do you believe are the other worrisome substances in energy drinks?  
4)  Has anyone looked at possible synergisms between substances in energy drinks that may particularly enhance their effects?
5)  Do you believe energy drinks are used to enhance the effects of illegal drugs?
6)  Is there any headway being made to get the FDA to look more closely at the safety of these products?

Interview with outside sources
I am hoping that you will be able to comment on the findings of these studies.  These comments may take any form and may include, for example, the value or pitfalls of survey-based research in the field of addiction science; findings in animals you believe might relate to this research; impressions you have of this research that you think might offer a balanced or tempered view of it.