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Study: For underage drinkers, pick of poisons linked to branding

Not only do underage drinkers have a reputation for overdoing it, a new study suggests they are also fairly particular about what they imbibe when they decide to go overboard.

According to one of the authors of the research by Boston University and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, "For the first time we've found the brands that are most responsible for binge drinking among our nation's youth."

Underage alcohol charges are not uncommon in the Greenville area. The community has its share of students from high school on up through college. Such charges should not be dismissed as inconsequential. The effects of a conviction can be many and long lasting and so the charges deserve to be met with a strong legal defense. 

The researchers say they suspect the reason they've been able to peg consumption to particular name brand sources is because of marketing that may encourage underage drinking and drinking in excess. They say their findings suggest that a closer study of company marketing practices is needed.

To get their data, the scientists polled youths between the ages of 13 and 20. What it found was that binge drinking was not uncommon among respondents. By their answers, researchers concluded that 67 percent of all the drinks youths consumed were downed during binge episodes.

The beverage at the top of the chart was Bud Light beer. That was followed by various Jack Daniel's bourbons. The top 25 brands out of 900 cited by respondents accounted for more than 46 percent of all binge drinking.

Drinking in excess is never wise. It is considered of even greater concern when it's done by minors. According to government statistics, the practice is responsible for hundreds of thousands of minors winding up in the emergency room each year. Sometimes it results in death.

Source: The Washington Post, "What underage drinkers drink when they binge drink," Roberto A. Ferdman, June 13, 2014

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