Authors: Monica H Swahn, Jane B Palmier, Agnes Benegas-Segarra and Fe A Sinson Title: Alcohol marketing and drunkenness among students in the Philippines: findings from the nationally representative Global School-based Student Health Survey Journal: BMC Public Health 2013, 13:1159
Abstract Background: A largely unaddressed issue in lower income countries and the Philippines, in particular, is the role of alcohol marketing and its potential link to early alcohol use among youth. This study examines the associations between exposures to alcohol marketing and Filipino youths’ drinking prevalence and drunkenness. Methods: Cross-sectional analyses were used to examine the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) conducted in Philippines (2011). The self-administered questionnaires were completed by students primarily 13 to 16 years of age (N = 5290). Three statistical models were computed to test the associations between alcohol marketing and alcohol use, while controlling for possible confounding factors. Results: Alcohol marketing, specifically through providing free alcohol through a company representative, was associated with drunkenness (AOR: 1.84; 95% CI = 1.06–3.21) among youths after controlling for demographic and psychosocial characteristics, peer environment, and risky behaviors. In addition, seeing alcohol ads in newspapers and magazines (AOR: 1.65, 95% CI = 1.05–2.58) and seeing ads at sports events, concerts or fairs (AOR: 1.50, 95% CI = 1.06–2.12) were significantly associated with increased reports of drunkenness. Conclusions: There are significant associations between alcohol marketing exposure and increased alcohol use and drunkenness among youth in the Philippines. These findings highlight the need to put policies into effect that restrict alcohol marketing practices as an important prevention strategy for reducing alcohol use and its dire consequences among vulnerable youth.