Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Tidwell, Diane K.

Committee Member

Buys, David R.

Committee Member

Oliver, Brittney D.

Committee Member

Williams, Ronald, Jr.

Committee Member

Yates, Joyce

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


Energy drink consumption has become an increasing problem in the United States; the overconsumption of these products can lead to a myriad of health issues. Anxiety, increased heart rate, myocardial infarction, and death have been associated with consumption of energy drinks. With the health risks linked to energy drink consumption, understanding the use of these drinks is an important area of research. Few studies have reported on energy drink consumption patterns of college students as well as the perceptions of energy drinks on college campuses. It is important to understand the perceptions of energy drinks to assist in determining the reasoning behind the consumption of these drinks. This study used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as a conceptual framework to study college students’ energy drink consumption. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the increasing level of knowledge concerning college students and consumption of energy drinks using the TPB, which contains the constructs of attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and intention. The goal of the research was to further understand the role of energy drink consumption in the college student population. Students in this study (N = 629) completed an electronic questionnaire during August 2015. Results indicated that 74.2% of participants had consumed an energy drink at some point during their life, while 47.1% had consumed an energy drink in the past 12 months. Only 2.5% of participants drank energy drinks daily and 37% reported consuming energy drinks once a month. The largest group of participants (32.4%) reported 13-15 years of age as the first time they consumed energy drinks. Males were more likely to consume energy drinks than females. Logistic regression determined the constructs of attitude, perceived behavioral control, and intention were significant predictors of energy drink consumption. This indicated that students’ attitude, perceived behavioral control, and intention predicted the behavior of consuming energy drinks in the past 12 months. The results of this study may be utilized to address college student engagement in adverse health behaviors, such as the consumption of energy drinks.