In the present study the relationship between the consumption of different beverage groups and body-weight status in 5 years of study participation in German adolescents was investigated. We used anthropometric and dietary data from 3 d weighed records of 244 subjects between 9 and 18 years of age participating in the Dortmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed (DONALD) study. Only subjects with at least four out of six possible weighed dietary records were considered. A repeated-measures regression model (PROC MIXED) was used to analyse the effect of beverage consumption on body-weight status. BMI standard deviation scores (BMI-SDS) and body fat percentage (%BF) were chosen as the dependent variables. In boys, energetic beverage consumption was not associated with BMI-SDS or %BF, neither cross-sectionally nor prospectively. In girls, baseline consumption of energetic beverages did not predict baseline BMI-SDS, baseline %BF, or change in either variable over the study period. However, an increase in energetic beverage consumption over the study period was associated with an increase in BMI-SDS (+0.070 SDS/MJ increase in energetic beverage consumption; P = 0·01). Separate consideration of regular soft drinks and fruit juices revealed that, in girls, BMI-SDS increased with increased fruit juice consumption (+0·096 SDS/MJ increase in fruit juice consumption; P = 0·01), and to a lesser extent with regular soft drink consumption (+0·055 SDS/MJ increase in regular soft drink consumption; P = 0·08). In conclusion, these results suggest that an increase in energetic beverage consumption may result in weight gain, at least in adolescent girls.