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Can J Public Health. 2013 Oct 30;104(7):e496-501.

Energy drink consumption and associations with demographic characteristics, drug use and injury among adolescents.

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Centre for Addiction and Mental Health & University of Toronto.



To examine energy drink consumption and its association with demographic characteristics, drug use, and injury among adolescents.


Data on 4,342 adolescents were derived from the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, a province-wide school-based survey of students in grades 7 through 12. The survey was based on a two-stage cluster design and analyses include appropriate adjustments for the complex sample design.


Overall, 49.6% of adolescents had consumed energy drinks in the previous year. A total of 13.8% of seventh grade students had consumed energy drinks in the previous week compared to 19.1% of adolescents overall. Energy drink consumption in the previous year was highly associated with having used tobacco and cannabis in the previous year, the non-medicinal use of prescription drugs in the previous year, and binge drinking in the previous month. Consumption was also highly associated with sensation-seeking and self-reports of medical treatment for an injury (reported by 16% and 42% of adolescents, respectively). The odds of consuming energy drinks did not vary significantly for males and females, and sex was not a significant moderator of the associations examined.


These findings support the need for greater awareness of the extent of energy drink consumption among individual adolescents and the potential that additional health and behavioural risks may be associated with consumption.


Energy drinks; drug use; injury; sensation-seeking

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