Alcohol marketing linked to ‘higher risk’ teenage drinking

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

Marketing by alcohol brands has been linked to ‘higher risk’ teenage drinking in a new survey carried out by medical journal BMJ Open.

Eighty-two per cent of respondents in the survey were aware of at least one form of alcohol marketing in the past month and 17% owned branded merchandise. 

The journal said that tests found that awareness of marketing and ownership of branded merchandise varied within drinking variables. For example, higher awareness of alcohol marketing was associated with being a current drinker, higher-risk drinking, and perceived parental and peer approval of consumption. 

Higher risk consumption

“Among current drinkers, multivariate regressions (controlling for demographics and covariates) found that marketing awareness and owning branded merchandise was positively associated with AUDIT-C score and higher-risk consumption”, BMJ Open reported. 

Current drinkers reporting medium marketing awareness were twice as likely to be higher-risk drinkers as those reporting low awareness. It added that among “never drinkers”, respondents who owned branded merchandise were twice as likely to be susceptible to drinking as those who did not.

“Young people, above and below the legal purchasing age, are aware of a range of alcohol marketing and almost one in five own alcohol branded merchandise”, BMJ Open noted. 

“In current drinkers, alcohol marketing awareness was associated with increased consumption and greater likelihood of higher-risk consumption. In never drinkers, ownership of branded merchandise was associated with susceptibility”, it said.

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