International journal of adolescent medicine and health vol:18 issue:1 pages:107-114
Alcohol abuse among adolescents is a cause for concern. Around 1995 alcopops (sweetened alcoholic drinks) entered the scene and caused even more concern. Many fear that the sweet taste makes is easier to start drinking for those not yet used to drinking alcohol and the marketing appears aimed at adolescents. Because alcohol use has been linked to television viewing in general and music video viewing in particular this article examined whether a relationship existed between television and music video exposure and the consumption of alcopops. Data were collected with a questionnaire focused on television exposure and alcohol behavior. Respondents were a random sample of 2,546 first- and fourth year schoolchildren of Flanders, the Dutch speaking region of Belgium (60% of the Belgian population). Self reported general TV viewing, music video exposure and drinking of alcopops at home and/or while going out were measured. 68.4% of the respondents watched music videos at least several times a week. The odds of being an alcopop drinker at home increased by 196% for those, who watched music videos at least several times a week (OR = 1.961). For each additional hour of TV viewed per day, the respondents were 17% more likely to be drinkers of altopops at home (OR = 1.169). The odds of being an alcopop drinker, when going out increased by 239% for those who watched music videos at least several times a week (OR = 2.394). For each additional hour of TV viewed per day, the respondents were 19% more likely to be drinkers of alcopops when going out (OR = 1.186). These findings suggest that there is an association between music video exposure and use of alcopops not explained by overall exposure to television. This relationship merits further attention as it is a better predictor of alcopop use, than the control variables and overall TV viewing.