To Your Health
September, 2016 (Vol. 10, Issue 09)
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Watching Under the Influence: Kids and Alcohol Advertisements

By Editorial Staff

Particularly these days, children are exposed to a variety of images and messages on the television, radio and other mediums that they would have been spared from in years gone by. Unfortunately, that exposure can do damage over time, a point underscored by a recent study that investigated the impact of alcohol advertisements on children's alcohol consumption habits.

The study included more than 1,000 12-20-year-olds who reported consuming alcohol in the previous month. Underage drinkers without exposure to any alcohol ads drank approximately 14 alcoholic drinks apiece per month, compared to 33 drinks per person for those who had viewed what the researchers determined was an average number of alcohol ads. And drinkers exposed to the highest number of alcohol ads in the previous month consumed a whopping 200 or more drinks per person, on average.

The lesson is a simple, important one: Watch what your kids are watching! What you might consider "harmless" exposure to adult images and messages on TV ("They're too young to understand") could impact their behavior later in life.