European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 176, Issue 5, pp 599–605 | Cite as

Regular energy drink consumption is associated with the risk of health and behavioural problems in adolescents

  • Jana Holubcikova
  • Peter Kolarcik
  • Andrea Madarasova Geckova
  • Sijmen A. Reijneveld
  • Jitse P. van Dijk
Original Article


Consumption of energy drinks has become popular and frequent among adolescents across Europe. Previous research showed that regular consumption of these drinks was associated with several health and behavioural problems. The aim of the present study was to determine the socio-demographic groups at risk for regular energy drink consumption and to explore the association of regular energy drinks consumption with health and behavioural problems and negative school experiences in adolescents. Data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study conducted in 2014 in Slovakia were analysed. We assessed socio-demographic characteristics, energy drink consumption, health and behavioural problems and negative school experiences based on self-reports from 8977 adolescents aged 11–15 years (mean age/standard deviation 13/1.33; 50.0% boys). The prevalence of regular energy drink consumption in the present sample was 20.6% (95%CI: 20%–21%). Regular energy drink consumption was more frequent among boys and older adolescents. Adolescents with a medium-level family affluence were less likely to drink energy drinks regularly. Adolescents who consumed energy drinks regularly had more health and behavioural problems and negative school experiences.

Conclusion: Adolescents drinking energy drinks are at risk of a wide range of negative outcomes and should be specifically addressed by preventive interventions.

What is Known

Energy drink consumption has become popular and frequent among adolescents across Europe.

There is growing evidence that energy drink consumption is related to negative social, emotional and health outcomes, but only a few studies have explored this relationship in adolescents.

What is New

Regular energy drink consumption was more frequent among boys and adolescents reporting low family affluence and increased with age.

Adolescents reporting regular energy drink consumption were in higher risk to suffer from health and behavioural problems and negative school experiences.


Adolescents Energy drinks Health and behavioural problems Negative school experience 



Confidence intervals


Energy drinks


Family Affluence Scale


Health Behaviour of School-aged Children


Odds ratios


Statistical Package for the Social Sciences



This work was partially supported by the Research and Development Support Agency under Contract No. APVV 0032-11 and APVV-15-0012, by the Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, the Slovak Academy of Sciences, reg. no. 1/0895/14, the Czech Science Foundation GA15-05696S and was also partially funded within the framework of the project “Social determinants of health in socially and physically disadvantaged and other groups of population” of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in Czech Republic CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0063.

Authors’ contributions

Jana Holubcikova drafted the initial manuscript, carried out the initial analyses and revised the final manuscript as submitted. Jitse P van Dijk revised the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. Andrea Madarasova Geckova, Sijmen A Reijneveld and Peter Kolarcik revised the analyses and the final manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty at the Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. Parents of respondents were informed about the study via the school administration, they gave their informed consent prior to inclusion of their children in the study and could opt out if they disagreed with their child’s participation. Participation in the study was fully voluntary and anonymous with no explicit incentives provided for participation.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Holubcikova
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Peter Kolarcik
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Andrea Madarasova Geckova
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Sijmen A. Reijneveld
    • 1
    • 5
  • Jitse P. van Dijk
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Graduate School Kosice Institute for Society and HealthP. J. Safarik UniversityKosiceSlovakia
  2. 2.Department of Health PsychologyP. J. Safarik UniversityKosiceSlovakia
  3. 3.Institute of Research on Children, Youth and FamilyMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Olomouc University Society and Health InstitutePalacky University OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic
  5. 5.Department of Community and Occupational MedicineUniversity Medical Center Groningen, University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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