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.