(RxWiki News) Just how much are underage youth affected by alcohol advertisements? The connection between magazine ads and underage drinking may be strong, according to the authors of a new study.
The researchers explored alcohol advertising in magazines to underage audiences during 2011.
The study found that youth between the ages of 18 and 20 were the most heavily hit audience for ads promoting many of the alcohol brands most consumed by underage drinkers.
"Talk to your children about the dangers of drug and alcohol use."
This study was led by David H. Jernigan, PhD, of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.
According to Dr. Jernigan and colleagues, new research has helped identify which alcohol brands underage youth consume most.
These researchers set out to see how often youth were exposed to alcohol advertisements for these brands and others. To do so, they used national data on 2011 magazine advertisers and audiences from the organizations Nielsen and GfK MRI to compare advertising between brands and exposure rates for different age groups. A total of 124 magazines were analyzed.
After analyzing the data, the researchers found that males between the ages of 18 and 20 were the age group most heavily exposed to advertising from 11 of the top 25 brands most consumed by underage youth.
When considering females, those between the ages of 18 and 20 were the age group most heavily exposed to advertising from 16 of the top 25 brands most consumed by underage youth.
Dr. Jernigan and team noted that at the same time, people of both genders between the ages of 18 and 20 were only the most heavily exposed group for less than 10 percent of the other 308 alcohol brands advertised in magazines that were studied.
"These findings suggest a relationship between advertising exposure and youth alcohol brand consumption," the study's authors wrote. "Current alcohol industry self-regulatory codes may not be sufficiently protective of youth."
While this study suggested an association between the two, further research is needed to understand the relationship between underage drinking and alcohol magazine advertising.
This study was published in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. No conflicts of interest were reported.