March 5, 2012

Does drinking on the big screen encourage adolescents?

A new study suggests there may be a link between alcohol consumption in movies and binge drinking in adolescents, HealthDay News reported this week. According to the results of a recent European study, the more teens see movie stars drink, the more alcohol they actually consume themselves.

The results of the study were released March 5, but will be published in the April print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

After surveying more than 16,000 teens between 10 and 19 years old from six European countries, the study found that 27 percent had consumed five or more drinks on at least one occasion, which is considered binge drinking. Those who had seen more alcohol use in movies were more likely to have engaged in binge drinking, the study found.

Those surveyed who had more exposure to movies with scenes of alcohol use showed more likelihood to binge drink even considering other controlling factors, such as peers, parents and siblings, school performance, family affluence and how often they watch TV.

Although unrelated to the European study, to read the U.S. Centers for Disease control Fact Sheet on underage drinking, click here.

“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 in Lebanon, N.H., told HeathDay News. “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 read the full HealthDay News article on MSN Health, click here.

You can also read up on the trends — up until 2010 — of teenage drug and alcohol use in America plus solutions for treating youth by clicking here.


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