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1.  A survey of energy drinks consumption practices among student -athletes in Ghana: lessons for developing health education intervention programmes 
Background
Globally, young adults and college athletes are primary targets of the marketing campaigns of energy drink companies. Consequently, it is reported that young adults and college athletes consume energy drinks frequently. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of energy drink consumption among student-athletes selected from seven public universities in Ghana. The study assessed the energy drink consumption patterns, types usually consumed, frequency of consumption and reasons why athletes consumed energy drinks.
Methods
A total number of 180 student-athletes gave their consent to participate in the study and completed a questionnaire which was administered during an inter-university sports competition.
Results
Most of the participants (62.2%) reported consuming at least one can of energy drink in a week. A high proportion (53.6%) of the respondents who drink energy drinks indicated that they did so to replenish lost energy after training or a competition. Other reasons given as to why energy drinks were consumed by the study participants included to provide energy and fluids to the body (25.9%), to improve performance (9.8%) and to reduce fatigue (5.4%).
Conclusion
These results suggest the need to plan health education programmes to particularly correct some wrong perceptions that athletes have regarding the benefits of energy drinks and also create awareness among student-athletes about the side effects of excessive intake of energy drinks.
doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-9
PMCID: PMC3331813  PMID: 22444601
Energy drinks; Consumption practices; Student-athletes; University
2.  Knowledge and practices of people in Bia District, Ghana, with regard to iodine deficiency disorders and intake of iodized salt 
Background
Despite numerous educational programmes to create awareness about iodized salt and iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), a survey conducted in the Western Region of Ghana in 2007 revealed that the goitre rate stood at 18.8%; and 78.1% of households consumed iodized salt, which is below the goal of the IDD programme in Ghana which aimed at 90% household consumption of iodized salt by the end of 2005 and sustaining the gains by 2011. It was therefore, considered timely to investigate the knowledge levels and the extent of utilization of iodized salt among the people living in Bia District, the District with the lowest intake (77.4%) of iodized salt based on findings of the 2007 survey.
Methods
This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. It was conducted among a total of 280 household members, mainly in charge of meal preparation, who were interviewed using a structured interview guide. A combination of cluster and simple random sampling techniques was used to select the respondents from all the seven sub- districts in Bia District.
Results
The study revealed that 75.6% of households in the district consumed iodized salt (including households described as occasional users of iodized salt), and knowledge of iodized salt was quite high, as 72% of the respondents knew that not every salt contained iodine. In addition, 69.3% indicated that an inadequate intake of iodized salt can lead to the development of goitre. Despite the high awareness level, only 64.6% of respondents indicated that they exclusively used iodized salt for cooking. The main reason given by exclusive users of common salt was that the price of iodized salt is a little higher than that of common salt.
Conclusions
Although majority of the respondents are aware of the importance of iodized salt and iodine deficiency disorders, only 64.6% exclusively used iodized salt, suggesting that respondents' high knowledge levels did not necessarily translate into an increase in the number of households who used iodized salt. Existing laws and policies on universal salt iodization and quality assurance of iodized salt from the production stage to the distribution/selling stage should be enforced.
doi:10.1186/0778-7367-70-5
PMCID: PMC3415111  PMID: 22958618
Knowledge; Practices; Iodized salt; Iodine deficiency disorders; Ghana

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