Alcohol in films linked to teenagers’ drink habits
Youngsters aged ten to 14 who watch a lot of films featuring alcohol are twice as likely to drink, according to new research.
Experts questioned more than 6,500 youngsters four times, asking in each session whether they had seen any of 50 films selected at random.
The teenagers were also asked in each survey if they had ever drunk alcohol behind their parents’ back and at what point they started binge-drinking (having five or more drinks in a row).
The films were then analysed for alcohol use, defined as a character’s actual or implied consumption or the purchase of alcohol. The study found that youngsters had typically seen about 4.5 hours of on-screen alcohol use and many had seen more than eight hours.
It also looked at the impact of parental drinking and children owning merchandise carrying alcohol brands. Some 11 per cent of the teenagers said they owned items such as a T-shirt or hat with a beer brand logo on it.
Almost one in four (23 per cent) said their parents drank alcohol at least once a week at home, while 29 per cent said they were able to get hold of alcohol at home.
Over the course of the surveys, which were spread over two years, the proportion of teens who started drinking alcohol more than doubled from 11 per cent to 25 per cent, while the proportion who began binge-drinking more than tripled from 4 per cent to 13 per cent.
Parents who drank at home and availability of alcohol in the home were linked with youngsters taking up drinking, but not progression to binge-drinking.
Writing in the journal BMJ Open, the researchers said: “Product placement in movies is forbidden for cigarettes in the US, but is legal and commonplace for the alcohol industry, regardless of film rating.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West