Alcohol was found to be the most common addiction among young people and a new study has revealed that alcohol ads on television induce teenage drinking.
In 2013, 66.2 percent of U.S. high school students reported trying alcohol, 34.9 percent reported alcohol use in the past 30 days and 20.8 percent reported recent binge drinking. In the U.S. alone, producers of alcohol spend billions of dollars annually marketing their products.
And, unlike cigarettes, which voluntarily ended television advertising in 1969, alcohol was actively marketed on television, according to the study background.
Survey results indicated that higher alcohol receptivity score among underage participants predicted the onset of drinking, binge drinking and hazardous drinking in the future. The transition to binge drinking (participants were asked how often they have six or more drinks on one occasion) and hazardous drinking (which was defined as meeting or exceeding a threshold score for frequency and quantity of alcohol use) happened for 29 percent and 18 percent of young people ages 15 to 17 years, respectively, and for 29 percent and 19 percent of young people ages 18 to 20 years, respectively.
James D. Sargent, MD, said that alcohol companies claim their advertising does not affect underage drinking that instead it was parents and friends that are the culprits but the results suggest otherwise.
The study is published online by JAMA Pediatrics.