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Study: Alcohol Commercials, Movie Scenes Influence Drinking

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Study participants who watched films accompanied by alcohol commercials were more likely to drink beer or wine during the movies than those who viewed the flick minus the alcohol ads, according to researchers.

HealthDay News reported March 4 that the study involved 40 young Dutch men ages 18 to 29 who were invited to watch the movie 'American Pie' (which contained extensive drinking scenes) or '40 Days and 40 Nights' (which only had a few scenes with alcohol) in a home cinema equipped with a stocked refrigerator.

Those who watched the films interrupted by two alcohol ads drank more than the control group, and those who watched American Pie drank more than those who viewed 40 Days and 40 Nights. “Our study showed that the portrayal of alcohol and drinking characters in movies directly leads to more alcohol consumption in young adult male viewers when alcohol is available within the situation,” the authors concluded.

“It's one of those things the majority of people have assumed to be the case, but it's nice to have the empirical evidence,” said Jeffrey T. Parsons, chair of the psychology department at Hunter College, who was not affiliated with the study.

The research was published online in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

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