Can't find something? Search Here.

Standard Labels on Alcohol Doing More Harm than Good Among Youth

Posted in Teens

The proper way to label a product to maximize its effectiveness in the market is a critical marketing tool. In the alcoholic beverage industry, there are specific standards that are set by law as to what information must be provided on the label. While the industry has argued that these practices promote responsible drinking, a new study has determined that the opposite is true.

Science Daily reported on the findings of a new study that suggest that young people are using the visible standard drink label to increase or even maximize the amount of alcohol they consume at the lowest cost possible. This study examined young people in Australia and determined that there is a very high awareness of standard drink labeling.

This standard appears to be useful to young people in helping them to select the drinks that would get them drunk in the shortest time possible. The labels are also used as guides so young people can determine which drink would reduce the time needed to get drunk and the least they would need to drink so they get the best value for their money.

"Participants generally agreed that they notice drink labels and take in account what to purchase and consume,” said co-author Professor Sandra Jones from the Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, in the Science Daily.

“While earlier research with adult beer and alcohol drinkers has shown that standard drink labeling enables them to drink safely and responsibly, this motivation is not evident in the consumption choices with young drinkers and might even be counter-productive."

Australia has been fighting the increase of heavy episodic drinking among young people. Researchers estimate that from 1993-2002, more than 2,500 young people aged 15-24 have died from alcohol-attributable injury and disease. Another 100,000 have been hospitalized.

Professor Jones added, "There is a need to consider the deeper implications about alcohol packaging and marketing as they have real potential to impact and reduce alcohol-related harms. There is still an important role for standard drink labeling as long as it is combined with other policies addressing the price, availability and marketing of alcohol – which are of proven effectiveness in reducing alcohol related harm."