Popular Music Inundated with References to Alcohol

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-04_a54cb086bf.jpgpavelis/Thinkstock (PITTSBURGH) -- Young people exposed to numerous mentions of alcohol brands in the music they listen to tend to abuse booze more often than those who don’t tune in as much to the same kinds of songs. That’s the finding of Brian Primack, a University of Pittsburgh associate professor of medicine and pediatrics, who reviewed the listening habits of 3,400 males and females, aged 15 to 23.

Primack says that on average, there are three-to-four brand mentions per hour in songs with people listening to music two-and-a-half hours per day.

Putting listeners in low, medium and high groups in terms of their exposure to music featuring alcohol brands, those in the high groups were twice as likely as young people in the lowest category to participate in binge drinking.

Lisa Henriksen, senior research scientist at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, called the study “worrisome,” especially if exposure to alcohol brands gets non-drinkers started on the road to risky behavior.

Henriksen also suggested that the alcohol industry has taken a page out of the playbook of cigarette makers by marketing their product in a way to attract young people.

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