Songs that reference alcohol brands encourage binge drinking, report claims

Teenagers who were more familiar with songs that mentioned brands were more likely to drink excessively

Songs that reference alcohol brands such as Kanye West‘s ‘Bittersweet’ and 50 Cent‘s ‘In Da Club’ could be encouraging fans to binge drink, scientists claim.

A study found that teenagers who were more familiar with songs that reference brands such as Jack Daniels, Tanqueray and Jamesons are more likely to drink, The Times reports.

The study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, surveyed 2,541 people in the US aged between 15 and 23. Some 59 per cent of the sample said they drink alcohol, and 18 per cent admitted to binge drinking at least once a month.

Participants were then given the titles of songs that include lyrical references to alcohol and asked if they could identify the drink brand mentioned. Those who could collectively name the brand of alcohol were more than twice as likely to have had an alcoholic drink and more likely to drink to excess.

Brian Primack of the University of Pittsburgh, a co-author of the report, said: “The association between recalling alcohol brands in popular music and alcohol drinking in adolescents was a strong as the influence of parental and peer drinking and an adolescent’s tendency towards sensation-seeking.”

Previous research found that almost a quarter of chart lyrics mentioned alcohol.