LEBANON, N.H. (CBS) – Teenagers and young adults who like, own and can correctly identify music referencing alcohol by brand name are more likely to binge drink, a study from New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center suggests.

The study, done in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, surveyed 2,541 participants between 15 and 23 years old, nationwide.

In all, 59 percent of respondents reported having had a complete alcoholic drink, which the authors defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Of those, 18 percent reported binge drinking at least once a month.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker reports

As part of the study, participants were shown titles of popular songs that mention specific alcohol brands in the lyrics and were asked if they liked the song or owned the song.

They were also tested to determine if they could recall what brand of alcohol was mentioned in the song.

More than two times as many people who could correctly recall the names of the alcohol brands in songs reported drinking monthly than those who couldn’t name the brand.

A finding that surprised researchers was that participants who could identify the alcohol brands in songs also had greater odds of binge alcohol use.

“A surprising result of our analysis was that the association between recalling alcohol brands in popular music and alcohol drinking in adolescents was as strong as the influence of parental and peer drinking, and an adolescent’s tendency toward sensation-seeking,” said lead author Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics and director of the Program for Research on Media and Health, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “This may illustrate the value that this age group places in the perceived opinions and actions of music stars.”

The authors say the average adolescent hears about 3,000 references to alcohol each year while listening to music.



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