Booze in Movies May Fuel Teenage Drinking02/21/12
TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Watching a lot of movies
that feature alcohol doubles the likelihood that young teens will
start drinking, and these teens are more likely to progress to
binge drinking, according to a new study.
The researchers said their findings suggest that U.S. movie
makers should adopt the same restrictions for alcohol-product
placement as they have for tobacco.
The study included more than 6,500 U.S. kids, aged 10 to 14, who
were asked about their consumption of alcohol, and potentially
influential factors such as movie viewing and marketing, their home
environment, peer behavior and personal rebelliousness.
During the two-year study, the proportion of kids who started
drinking alcohol more than doubled from 11 percent to 25 percent,
and the proportion of those who started binge drinking (five or
more drinks in a row) tripled from 4 percent to 13 percent, the
Having parents who drank and availability of alcohol at home
were associated with kids starting to drink, but not with
progression to binge drinking, according to the study published
online Feb. 21 in the journal
However, watching movies that featured alcohol use, owning
alcohol-branded merchandise, having friends who drank, and
rebelliousness were all associated with both starting to drink and
progression to binge drinking, the findings showed.
After they adjusted for a number of factors, the researchers
concluded that teens who watched the most movies featuring alcohol
were twice as likely to start drinking and 63 percent more likely
to progress to binge drinking than teens who watched the fewest of
Watching movies featuring alcohol use accounted for 28 percent
of the kids who started drinking and for 20 percent of those who
moved on to binge drinking, the researchers noted in a journal news
release. The association was not only seen with movie characters
who drink but also with alcohol product placement.
"Product placement in movies is forbidden for cigarettes in the U.S.A., but is legal and commonplace for the alcohol industry, with half of Hollywood films containing at least one alcohol-brand appearance, regardless of film rating," James Sargent, of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues wrote in the report.
While the researchers uncovered an association between alcohol
use in movies and teen drinking, it did not prove a
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
offers advice on
parenting to prevent childhood alcohol use.
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