Reuters Mar 4, 2009
Watching films and ads in which alcohol features prominently drives people to immediately reach for the bottle themselves, Dutch researchers said on Wednesday. An experiment with students showed that volunteers exposed to a film and commercials where alcohol featured predominately drank an average one-and-a-half bottles of beer more during the hour they were watching.
The findings highlight a potential need to explicitly warn people — and parents — if movies contain alcohol use because such portrayals have a direct effect on drinking, researchers at Radboud University Nijmegen said. “Implications of these findings may be that, if moderation of alcohol consumption in certain groups is strived for, it may be sensible to cut down on the portrayal of alcohol in programmes aimed at these groups and the commercials shown in between,” Rutger Engels and colleagues wrote.