Sunday 25 September 2016

Alcohol sponsor link to teen drinking

Published 22/03/2016 | 02:30

A study has shown exposure to alcohol sports sponsorship is associated with increased levels of alcohol consumption and risky drinking amongst schoolchildren
A study has shown exposure to alcohol sports sponsorship is associated with increased levels of alcohol consumption and risky drinking amongst schoolchildren

Children and young people are being bombarded with messages at sports events that encourage early drinking and risky behaviour.

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President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Prof Frank Murray, has warned the next government needs to prioritise the adoption of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill and to also end the sponsorship of sports events by the alcohol industry.

He pointed to a report for the Institute of Alcohol Studies covering UK, Australia, New Zealand and Germany that showed exposure to alcohol sports sponsorship is associated with increased levels of alcohol consumption and risky drinking amongst schoolchildren and sports people.

The review included a study of Welsh schoolchildren aged between 14 and 15, which found that awareness of alcohol sports sponsorship was linked to a 17pc higher chance of boys, and 13pc higher risk of girls, getting drunk at the weekend.

When the same schoolchildren had both positive attitudes towards alcohol and awareness of alcohol sports sponsorship, the chances of getting drunk at the weekend were 26pc higher for boys and 27pc higher for girls. "We believe that the alcohol industry has no place in the sports ground. Children and young adults are increasingly participating and attending sporting events, which have long-term benefits for their health and well-being," said Prof Murray.

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