One in five songs that are popular with teens have explicit references to alcohol, and one-quarter of these songs mention a specific brand, a new study finds.
Alcohol references are most common in rap, R&B and hip hop, HealthDay reports. The songs’ lyrics often portray a luxury lifestyle that includes risky behavior and partying.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh analyzed 793 songs that were popular among youths between 2005 and 2007. They conclude that frequent exposure to alcohol brand names in songs may act as a type of advertising, and could encourage substance abuse among teens.
In a news release, the researchers note the distilled spirits brands found in music, such as Patron Tequila, Grey Goose Vodka, and Hennessey Cognac, are the same ones that are increasingly named as favorites by underage drinkers, especially young women.
They say most instances of brand-name references in song lyrics appear to be unsolicited and unpaid for by advertising companies. Their findings appear in the journal Addiction.
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