Most of the box office hit films that are screened in India and are suitable for children contain images of alcohol, according to research published in the online journal BMJ Open.
Much stricter controls are needed to protect children and young people from possible preventable damage from use alcohol, say researchers.
In 2016 alcohol consumption caused 2.8 million deaths worldwide and global alcohol consumption has increased by 38% in the last decade. Although it is scarce among women, almost one in three men in India now drinks alcohol, averaging 18.3 liters each year.
The average age at which people start drinking it is 21, but 1.3% of young people aged 10 to 17 say they drink alcohol and, according to research, start from this road in India is associated with chronic intensive consumption later. adult life.
And exposure to images of alcohol a movies it is a significant factor that drives the absorption of alcohol consumption among young people as well as the amount they drink, according to the researchers.
But there is very little evidence of the content of alcohol images in low-income films and middle-income countries.
To try to fill this knowledge gap, the researchers coded each 5-minute interval into the top 30 national 10 ticket office successful films made in India and screened in 2015, 2016 and 2017, depending on whether they contained images of alcohol, defined as use, actual use, implicit use, other alcohol references and brand appearances of alcohol.
The 30 films included 22 (73%) Hindi films and 8 (27%) in regional languages (four Tamils, three Telugus and one Malayalam).
Seven (23%) were classified as suitable for viewing by all ages (U) and 23 (77%) were classified as suitable for viewing by children under 12 subject to parental guidance under 12 years (UA).
Images of alcohol were seen in almost all films (97%), with 195 out of a total of 923 5-minute intervals, and actual alcohol consumption was seen in 25 (83%) for the · films at intervals of 90 (10%).
The appearance of these and other categories of alcohol images was similar in films rated U (38 intervals, 17%) and UA (157 intervals, 23%), and Hindi (140 intervals, 21%) and in local language (55 intervals), 21%) films.
The alcohol brand episodes occurred at ten five-minute intervals in five films, one of which had the U rating and one in a regional language.
“This study, to our knowledge, the first of its kind in India, shows that images of alcohol were produced in almost this entire sample of popular films in India, classified by [Central Board of Film Certification] in India it is suitable for unrestricted viewing for children (U) or for children under 12 with parental guidance (UA), ”the researchers write.
“Films represent an important source of exposure, not only in terms of the film audience they generate, but also for the potentially wider audience that is reached when films are screened on television,” they add.
They conclude: “The prudent approach to avoidable risks is to avoid them, and since the inclusion of images of alcohol in films aimed at children is totally avoidable, protecting children from future alcohol consumption and the consequent problems. justify stricter controls on the alcohol content of films aimed at children i young people in India. ”
Quantifying audiovisual images of alcohol in Indian popular films: a content analysis, BMJ Open (2021). DOI: 10.1136 / bmjopen-2020-040630
British Medical Journal
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