Alcohol advertising in sport affecting Aussie kids

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With both AFL and NRL back on our screens – researchers have highlighted the problems with childrens exposure to alcohol advertising when watching sport.

Researchers from the Behavioural Sciences Research Laboratory in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University say children and young people exposed to alcohol advertising and sponsorship have an earlier uptake of drinking and can develop more hazardous drinking habits.

They recently issued their findings of a report originally prepared for the Federal Government which examined the extent of alcohol advertising and sponsorship in Australia and young people’s exposure to it and their drinking behaviour and attitudes.

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Examining 30 years of data from other empirical students involving 100,000 children from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the US and the UK, they found more frequent exposure led to an earlier age initiation of alcohol use in non-drinkers.

Australian students also suggested children were frequently exposed to alcohol advertising and sponsorship throughout their day, with sport both the leading and most influential single entertainment genre.

Dr Vandenberg said several studies in Australia showed widespread public support for stricter regulations or bans on alcohol advertising and sponsorship, particularly in sport.

“The more alcohol advertising a young person is exposed to, the more at risk they are of taking up drinking and using alcohol in a harmful way. There is a clear dose-response effect.”

The AFL has major advertisers including beer Carlton Draught, bourbon brand Jim Beam and wine label Wolf Blass.

The report showed the majority of Australians (approximately 70 per cent) and particularly parents (80 per cent) supported stronger restrictions on alcohol advertising and sponsorship.