When Shoshanna Goldin was 14 years old, she underwent a successful brain tumor surgery. The event led her to take interest in energy drinks, which contain caffeine and other stimulants, and how they're marketed to teens.
Three years later, the 17-year-old Allentown, Pa. native conducted a study on the topic, entering the Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition held in Washington, D.C. She became one of 12 national finalists, and eventually took home the top prize of $50,000 for her presentation on the hidden dangers of energy drinks.
Her study, entitled ''Energy Epidemic: Teen Perceptions and Consumption of Energy Drinks," found that the beverages do increase energy, but also lead to high blood pressure, jitters, headaches, nausea and insomnia. According to her research, an 8-ounce drink can contain as much as 300 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to a 16-ounce cup of coffee.
''One student in my history class brings three cans of Monster every day,'' Shoshanna told The Morning Call, adding, "I think the total population is unaware of the dangers."
She also revealed that energy drink consumption has increased by 516 percent since 2005. Shoshanna believes that school's should include lessons on the dangers of the drinks and that minors shouldn't be able to purchase the beverages at all. Although they are sold alongside other harmless drinks, there's definitely cause for concern when teens are consuming them without caution. What do you think about Shoshanna's findings? %Poll-45977%