New scientific research shows that the link between exposure of teens to alcohol consumption in movies and binge drinking is strong. This conclusion comes from a survey questioning 16.551 adolescents in Germany, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Scotland. The study also shows that the relationship between alcohol use in movies and adolescent binge drinking is the same in all six countries.


‘The striking thing to me is how consistent the results were across countries and cultures,’ study co-author Dr. James Sargent, a professor of pediatrics and community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, told HealthDay. “Whatever you want your alcohol to do for you — make you feel rich, funny, sophisticated — you can see that in the movies. That shapes how kids see alcohol and their decisions whether to binge drink.”

The study was conducted in collaboration by the University of Oregon, the University of Hawaii Cancer Centre, Dartmouth Medical School, the Norris Cotton Cancer Centre and St. Cathrine University. The goal of the study was to investigate whether the association between exposure to images of alcohol use in movies and binge drinking among adolescents is independent of cultural context. The respondents came from 114 public schools, the average age of these pupils was 13.4.

Another interesting conclusion is that over a quarter (27%) of the respondents had consumed five drinks on at least one occasion in their life.

The study is freely available online in the journal Pediatrics
Source: 03/05/12

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