An emerging adolescent health risk: caffeinated energy drink consumption patterns among high school students

Prev Med. 2014 May;62:54-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.01.019. Epub 2014 Feb 4.


Objective: To examine the prevalence, patterns, and correlates of energy drink use among adolescents, and determine whether more frequent use of energy drinks is associated with poorer health and behavioral outcomes.

Methods: Data were from a 2012 cross-sectional survey of 8210 students in grades 7, 9, 10 and 12 attending public schools in Atlantic Canada. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to examine correlates of energy drink use patterns, including substance use, sensation seeking, risk of depression, and socioeconomic status.

Results: Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents (62%) reported consuming energy drinks at least once in the previous year, with about 20% reporting use once or more per month. Sensation seeking, depression, and substance use were all higher among energy drink users relative to non-users, and in higher frequency users relative to lower frequency users.

Conclusions: The prevalence of energy drink consumption among high school students was high. The association of energy drinks with other potential negative health and behavioral outcomes suggests that use of these products may represent a marker for other activities that may negatively affect adolescent development, health and well-being.

Keywords: Caffeinated energy drinks; College students; Health risk; High school students; Mental health; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Energy Drinks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Schools*
  • Sensation / drug effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Social Class
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Caffeine