According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, movies that include scenes of alcohol consumption can inspire teenagers to develop unhealthy habits like drinking liquor or engage in binge drinking.
Dr. Victor Strasburger, an expert in pediatrics at the University of New Mexico and one of the researchers involved in the new study, explained that teenagers who are more likely to enjoy drinking alcohol are those who see these habits depicted in movies.
In order to come to this conclusion, a team of researchers from the University of Bristol analyzed the data collected from more than 5,000 teenagers with an average age of 15.
All the participants were part of a project called Bristol’s Children that started in the 1990s.
The teens were classified based on whether they had seen scenes of alcohol consumption in movies.
The participants had to answer if the depiction of alcohol in movies was less than 28 minutes or at least 64 minutes.
The teenagers also had to answer how frequently they engaged in alcohol consumption.
According to the results of the study, the teenagers who were exposed the most to alcohol consumption in movies were at least 1.2 times more likely to have tried to drink alcohol, compared to those where were less exposed and were 1.7 times more likely to engage in binge drinking.
Furthermore, the study revealed that the teenagers who were exposed the most to alcohol scenes in movies were approximately 2.4 times more likely to engage in drinking on a weekly basis and 2 times more prone to have behavioral issues because of drinking.
Dr. Strasburger wants to introduce a pediatrician and a child psychologist on the Motion Picture Association of America panel in order to reevaluate the use of alcohol in movies and rate them accordingly.
Dr. Andrea Waylen, the author of a study called Alcohol Use in Films and Adolescent Alcohol Use, said that movies should be rated for alcohol content so that children should not be exposed to it from an early age.
Experts advise parents to talk to their children about the movies they want to watch or even to watch the shows together with them.
Dr. Wylen explained that the officials should rate the movies more carefully in order to prevent the kids from developing dangerous habits like alcohol abuse.
Previous studies have shown that there is a link between kids who watch movies with characters drinking and doing the same thing in real life from an early age.
Image Source: theguardian