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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Movies and Binge Drinking Teens

By March 5, 2012

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A study that we talked about last week found that "limiting media and marketing exposure could help prevent both onset and progression" of teen alcohol use. The authors suggested that parents should try to limit their child's exposure to movies that feature alcohol use and alcohol marketing exposures and "should not allow alcohol-branded merchandise in their homes," in addition to "keeping home alcohol in a secure location or by not drinking frequently themselves."

It shouldn't be surprising that this isn't the only study to associate teen drinking with exposure to alcohol use in movies.

Another study which will be published in the April issue of Pediatrics, "Alcohol Consumption in Movies and Adolescent Binge Drinking in 6 European Countries," found that the more exposure teens had to alcohol use in movies, the more likely they were to binge drink.

According to the study authors, "the consistency of the association between movie alcohol use exposure and adolescent binge drinking across cultures, specifically 6 European countries with different norms regarding teen and adult alcohol use and different prevalences of youth alcohol use, argues in favor of movie alcohol exposure as an independent social risk factor."

The results of the study "suggest that if steps were taken to decrease exposure of adolescents to movie depictions of alcohol, then fewer young people would take up binge drinking."

To reduce the chance that your kids will drink alcohol, in addition to limiting and screening the types of movies your teens watch, talk about alcohol and provide your teen with tools to resist peer pressure.

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Drug Testing and Drug Screening

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