The School of Public Health worked with the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to identify the alcohol brands consumed most by underage youth. Taking the top spot was Bud Light, followed by Smirnoff malt beverages and, oh wait, Budweiser.
The statistics aren’t startling–just time warp back to your freshman year of college. There you sway on the steps of some Allston apartment, ready to whip out your wallet to pay off the sophomore standing door. Five dollars is all is takes to break down the barrier between you and the bevvy of beers chilling in the fridge, and once the money exchange is over, what’s in your hand? A Bud Light: “the sure sign of a good time.”
Or, the nectar of the Gods for those trying to live off a 20 year old’s budget.
The duo surveyed 1,032 youth, ranging in age from 13 to 20. Nearly 30 percent sampled said they drank Bud Light within the past month in comparison the below brands rounding out the top 10:
Smirnoff Malt Beverages: 17.0%
Smirnoff Vodkas: 12.7%
Coors Light: 12.7%
Jack Daniel’s Bourbons: 11.4%
Corona Extra: 11.3%
Captain Morgan Rums: 10.4%
Absolut Vodkas: 10.1%
The only question I have is: Where’s the Natty Ice and PBR? Clearly, college students are “classing” it up. (“Classing” in quotes, because I’d reach for PBR before Bud Light any day.)
This is the first national survey that examines brand preferences among underage youth, according to a release, and the data will help fuel follow-up studies to examine the association between exposure to alcohol advertising and underage consumption.
“We now know, for the first time, what alcohol brands–and which companies–are profiting the most from the sale of their products to underage drinkers,” said Boston University Professor and lead study author Michael Siegel in the release. “The companies implicated by this study as the leading culprits in the problem of underage drinking need to take immediate action to reduce the appeal of their products to youth.”
A recent report from UCLA suggests college-age drinking is at an all-time low, though. Researchers found the percentage of college freshmen drinking beer dropped nearly 50 percent from 73.7 percent in 1982 to 33.4 percent in 2012. So, Bud Light might be to blame, but it appears college students are now turning up their nose.
Unless they go to Boston College. Then, they’re pouring that Bud Light into a Beanpot and sticking their nose straight into the suds.