Risky drinking amongst young Australians linked to social media

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 14th September 2016

A new study has found young Australians are more likely to engage in risky alcohol consumption if they like or follow an alcohol brand or retailer on social media.

Published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, the study surveyed 1, 001 Australians aged 15-29 years to find a quarter liked at least one social media page promoting alcohol.

Underage survey participants were just as likely as older participants to like a social media page promoting alcohol.

Those more likely to follow social media pages were categorised as;

  • Male
  • Living outside a major city,
  • Drinking alcohol at an early age
  • Using illegal drugs at least once

The researchers said there was a need to develop strategies to reduce the exposure to, and potential impact, of alcohol marketing on social media to young Australians. The researchers stated measures needed to be taken to ensure underage social media users could not access these pages or be targeted by them.