Reuters reported on May 2, 2006 on a study which was published in the May, 2006 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine which found that the alcohol industry makes billions of dollars from underage drinking.
Underage drinking is worth nearly $23 billion a year to the alcohol industry, or 17.5 percent of all money spent on spirits in the US annually, researchers from New York's Columbia University report.
And abusive drinking by both underage people and adults may account for nearly half of all money spent on alcohol each year.
"What we see here is that there is a large conflict of interest for the alcohol industry between profitability and public health," Susan E. Foster of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia told Reuters Health.
She and her colleagues used information from four national studies, including a total of 260,580 people aged 12 and older, to estimate the value to the alcohol industry of underage drinking, as well as the value of abusive and dependent drinking.
Just over one-quarter of underage drinkers met standard criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence, Foster and her team found, compared to 9.6 percent of those 21 and older.
Underage drinking and alcoholism are tightly linked, Foster noted. People who start drinking before age 21 are twice as likely to become addicted to alcohol, while the risk of becoming an alcoholic is four times greater among those who begin drinking before their 15th birthday.
The researchers estimated the value of underage drinking as $22.5 billion, while adult abusive drinkers accounted for $25.8 billion. Together, the value of underage and abusive drinking was $48.3 billion, or 37.5 percent of the total. Using a different dataset, the value was estimated at $62.9 billion, or 48.8 percent of all money spent annually on alcohol.
When Janet Jackson's breast was exposed during the Super Bowl half time show two years ago people went nuts and the FCC has fined CBS over 3 million dollars. And yet how many beer commercials did kids sit though that were oh so very engaging and entertaining during this "family hour" event? Had to be at least 15 or 20, right? And parents didn't make a peep. It's breasts they are concerned about not booze and yet breasts never killed anyone and beer kills tens of thousands of people a year in DWIs, alcohol poisoning, drunken accidents, etc.
So, people what's the problem? Breasts or booze? And who is engaging in the most insidious assault on our kids? That's right, its the breweries and distilleries. Janet Jackson's breasts should be the least of our concern when it comes to our kids watching the Super Bowl or any sports show. Its the breweries and distilleries glamorizing the use of alcohol as the way to have a good time, to celebrate life, to kick back and relax, to get the girls or guys and to "par - teeeeeeeeeeeee".