Academic journal article The Science Teacher

TV Ads Drive Teen Drinking

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

TV Ads Drive Teen Drinking

Article excerpt

The more advertising kids see for particular brands of alcohol, the more they consume of those brands, according to a new study.

The research, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, adds to evidence linking alcohol advertising to underage drinking. And it suggests that TV ads really do influence the amount of alcohol kids drink. Past studies have found that underage drinkers often have a preference for the brands of alcohol they see advertised.

"But critics could say, sure, ads influence the brands underage drinkers choose, but not whether they drink, or how much they drink in total," said Timothy Naimi, lead researcher on the new study.

His team's findings counter that argument: The more exposure kids had to brand-specific alcohol ads on TV, the greater the total amount they consumed of those brands, even after adjusting for consumption of all non-advertised brands. This adjustment is important, says Naimi, because it takes into account the fact that those who watch more television may tend to drink more.

The findings are based on a national sample of 1,031 13- to 20-year-olds who said they'd had alcohol in the past month. …

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