Tags: alcohol | ads | minors | tv

Teens Influenced by Alcohol ads

Monday, 07 May 2012 11:49 AM

Alcohol advertising appears to influence drinking habits in minors, according to a new study that shows under-21 youngsters who recognize TV commercials for beer and spirits are more likely to imbibe.
The study, presented at the recent Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston, found minors who were familiar with television alcohol advertisements were more likely to have tried adult beverages and binge drink than those who could not recall seeing such ads.
"Underage drinking remains an important health risk in the U.S.," said lead researcher Dr. Susanne E. Tanski, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. "In this study, we have shown a link between recognition of nationally televised alcohol advertisements and underage drinking initiation and heavier use patterns."
The study follows previous research by Tanski and her colleagues that found links between teen smoking and drinking and depictions of those activities in the movies.
For the new study, researchers asked 2,541 youths -- ages 15 to 20 years -- if their friends or parents drank, if they had a favorite alcohol ad and whether they owned alcohol-branded merchandise. They also were asked questions to assess whether they engaged in "sensation-seeking" behavior.
Participants were also shown 20 still images from television ads for beer and alcohol, and asked if they remembered seeing the ad, liked it and they knew the product being advertised.
The study found 59 percent of the youths previously drank alcohol -- 49 percent of them admitted to binge drinking (had more than six drinks in a row) at least once.
Familiarity with TV alcohol ads was significantly higher for drinkers and binge drinkers than for non-drinkers. Other factors linked with drinking alcohol: seeing alcohol in movies, having a favorite alcohol ad, having greater propensity for sensation seeking, having friends and parents who drink alcohol.
" While this study cannot determine which came first — the exposure to advertising or the drinking behavior — it does suggest that alcohol advertising may play a role in underage drinking, and the standards for alcohol ad placement perhaps should be more strict," Tanski said.

© HealthDay

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Minors who recognize TV commercials for beer and spirits are more likely to drink.
Monday, 07 May 2012 11:49 AM
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