The alcohol industry says they aren’t to blame for underage binge drinking
Between 2011 and 2013, researchers from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center conducted web-based and telephonic surveys on 2,541 adolescents between 15 and 23 years old.
They wanted to know how many of them regularly watched TV and saw alcohol ads. In addition to that, they wanted to know how many of them enjoyed the ad and what percentage of the youths had experimented with alcohol.
The alcohol industry says they regulate advertising to minimise underage youths from seeing them, but the study proves it’s not effective.
23.4% of the 15 to 17-year-olds had regularly seen alcohol ads on TV. Those in the 18 to 20 age group reported an average of 22.7% of them has seen the ads, while 25.6% of those in the 19 to 23 age group regularly saw alcohol ads.
As you can see, there isn’t a large difference between the number of underage youths that regularly see alcohol advertised on TV.
But there’s something even more significant than that…
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Study reveals teens that see alcohol ads are more likely to start binge drinking
When researchers asked the participants about their alcohol consumption, these were the results:
1. 66.2% of high school students already experimented with alcohol – even if they were underage;
2. 34.9% said they’d had a drink in the last 30 days; and
3. 20.8% they’d had a binge drinking session recently.
And when researchers compared the two sets of data, the connection was clear. Using statistical analysis, they concluded that when the youths had frequent exposure to the alcohol ads on TV, they were more likely to have experimented with alcohol and had at least one binge drinking session.
29% of the 15 to 17-year olds said they were regular binge drinkers despite being underage
. And what’s shocking is that it’s the same number of legal drinkers taking part in binge drinking.
That’s why researchers claim alcohol ads are one of the leading causes of underage binge drinking.
But it’s not the only study to conclude this.
Earlier study concludes TV ads play a huge role in underage binge drinking
In 2012, the American Academy of Paediatrics also said that underage youths who could recall frequently seeing alcohol ads on TV were more likely to drink alcohol and take part in binge drinking.
In this study, researchers showed the youth’s alcohol ads and fast food chain ads. They removed the logos and asked the youths if they knew what the ad was for.
When they correlated the information between the number of youths who took part in binge drinking and those who’d seen the ads, there was no mistaking the results.
Again, the conclusion was that the youths who saw more TV ads, who remembered them and liked them were more likely to experiment with binge drinking than those who didn’t recall the ads.
Now, it’s not possible for you to go about your daily life checking what ads your son watches on TV! And it’s not plausible either.
Instead, there’s something else you can do.
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Educate your son about the dangers of binge drinking
Education is key to your child making appropriate life decisions.
If you start telling him about the consequences of alcohol use and abuse
when he’s young, it’s likely he’ll remember your words as he gets older.
Also, if you set a good example for your child with your drinking habits, it’s more likely to reflect in the decisions he makes when faced with the choices.
As you can see, there are two aspects that influence whether your child takes part in binge drinking or not. One of those you can’t really control, but the other you can. So make the right decision so your son can too.