BALTIMORE (CBSDC) – Researchers have discovered that African-American juveniles are exposed to higher volumes of advertising for alcoholic beverages than those in other racial and age demographics.

The study, conducted at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, aimed to figure out why children and teenagers in this particular racial demographic were more likely to be exposed to the ads.

“[One of] the goals of this report was to … analyze alcohol advertising exposure by type and brand among African-American youth ages 12–20, in comparison to all youth [between the same] ages,” the introduction to the study explained.

The introduction added, “[The other goal was to] assess the exposure of African-American youth ages 12 [to] 20 to alcohol advertising relative to African-American adults and all adults, and thus the extent to which African-American youth were overexposed to alcohol advertising relative to adults in magazines, on radio, and on television.”

Researchers were motivated to examine these exposure rates by statistics that claim that not only have 65 percent of all African-American high school students had at least one sip of alcohol, but also, that 25 percent of them have consumed their first alcoholic beverage before age 13.

Scientists worked in concert with the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) and Virtual Media Resources (VMR) to create a realistic representation of the rates at which both African-American youth are exposed to advertising for alcohol, in comparison with youth of other races.

Examples in magazines, as well as on the radio and television, were counted and chronicled for the sake of the study, their content scrutinized as much as the frequency with which they appeared in a given medium.

“In the context of an evidence base suggesting that increased exposure to alcohol marketing puts young people at greater risk of drinking, this report has documented that African-American youth experience greater exposure to alcohol advertising than youth in general in magazines and on television, and to distilled spirits advertising on radio,” the study concluded.

The joint study also reportedly found that some brands and specific media outlets produce content that results in up to five times as much alcohol advertising exposure for African-American youth, in comparison to youths of other races.

Researchers additionally noted, “Some of these also deliver greater exposure to African-American youth than to African-American adults.”


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