For Immediate Release

EMBARGOED AJPH research: Beer ad violations, teen STIs and HIV risk, obesity risk with age

In this month’s release, find new research about the beer industry’s self-regulation advertising process, HIV risk for teens with STI’s and obesity’s mortality risk with aging.

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL August 15, 2013, 4 p.m. (EDT)

 

CONTACT: For copies of articles of full table of contents of this month’s released studies, call Kim Short, 202-777-2511, or email her

 

American Journal of Public Health highlights:

1)   Beer industry’s self-regulation ineffective at preventing advertising code violations

2)   Contracting sexually transmitted infections in adolescence may increase risk of HIV infection

3)   Obesity’s impact on mortality risk increases with age

 

1.    Beer industry’s self-regulation ineffective at preventing advertising code violations

In an evaluation of beer advertising code regulations aimed to encourage responsible advertising practices, new research from the American Journal of Public Health finds that content violations still occur and the current U.S. Beer Institute’s self-regulation process may be ineffective.

Researchers reviewed all alcohol advertisements that aired during the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournament games from 1999 to 2008. Current alcohol advertising is self-regulated by the alcohol industry in which the U.S. Beer Institute develops, updates and enforces the regulation codes. This study employed academic and public health professionals to rate the ads using both the 1997 and 2006 versions of the U.S. Beer Institute’s guidelines.

Results showed that when experts reviewed the advertisements, code violations were prevalent. Between 35 percent and 74 percent of the ads had violations, depending on the version of regulation codes used and the scoring method applied. Furthermore, ads with content violations were broadcast more often than those without. Ads that violated the codes most often included content that appealed to young people and content in which beer drinking was associated with social success and sexual attractiveness.

“The findings of this study are consistent with evidence from other research showing that alcohol industry self-regulation programs are ineffective at preventing content violations,” the study’s authors explain.

“Unless the alcohol industry insists on the use of standardized rating procedure by trained panels consisting of public health experts and members of vulnerable groups, it is unlikely that the high prevalence of content violations will be reduced,” the study’s authors suggest.

[“An Empirical Evaluation of the U.S. Beer Institute’s Self-Regulation Code Governing the Content of Beer Advertising.” Thomas Babor, PhD, MPH, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Conn.]

2.    Contracting sexually transmitted infections in adolescence may increase risk of HIV infection

According to a new study from the American Journal of Public Health, individuals who contract sexually transmitted infections during their teen years have a greater HIV risk into young adulthood. Furthermore, the greater the number of STIs contracted during their teen years, the greater the risk of subsequent HIV.

Researchers analyzed a large sample of Philadelphia high school students born between 1985 and 1993 who participated in the Philadelphia High School STD Screening Program. The program, which includes education about STIs and HIV and STI screening, was studied between 2003 and 2010. The studied cohort was matched to existing STI and HIV surveillance data sets and death certificates to estimate the connection between existing STIs and potential HIV risk.

Results indicated that 23 percent of participants did test positive for an STI between the ages of 11 and 19. The most common were chlamydia and gonorrhea. All bacterial STIs reported during adolescence elevated the risk of HIV. Furthermore, reporting more than one STI during adolescence increased the risk for HIV even more.

“The results are quite worrisome, especially when considered in the context of the current trend in adolescent STI rates across the United States. This may be the warning for a new epidemic of HIV among young adults during the next five to 10 years. However, these results also indicate an opportunity for intervention – at the time of STI diagnosis,” the authors write.

[“Adolescent Sexually Transmitted Infections and Risk for Subsequent HIV.” Elizabeth Claire Newbern, PhD, MPH, PDPH, Division of Disease Control, Epidemiology Unit, Philadelphia, Pa.]

For more research about improving sexual health for youth, the following study may be of interest:

·         “Peer victimization and sexual risk differences between LGBTQ and heterosexual youth in grades 7-12,” by Joseph P. Robinson

 

3.    Obesity’s impact on mortality risk increases with age

New research from the American Journal of Public Health finds that the risk of death due to obesity increases as individuals grow older, despite past findings that predict a weaker association.

Researchers reviewed data from the National Health Interview Survey linked to the National Death Index to understand the association between obesity and early adult mortality. The sample included survey respondents between the ages of 40 and 84.9. The study uniquely accounted for not only the age of the respondent, but also the period in which they were observed and the birth cohort that they were a member of.

Results indicated that obesity accounts for more U.S. deaths in recent birth cohorts than for earlier ones. Furthermore, the impact of high body mass index on mortality risk was found to increase as individuals grew older.

“The large mortality burden we document suggests that current projections of U.S. life expectancy should be modified to account for the impact of rising obesity prevalence, especially among more recent birth cohorts. We believe that it is imperative for the U.S. public and those who construct policy for that public to recognize that population health and more than a century of steady gains in life expectancy are being jeopardized by the obesity epidemic,” the study’s authors conclude.

[“The Impact of Obesity on U.S. Mortality Levels: The Importance of Age and Cohort Factors in Population Estimates.” Ryan K. Masters, University of Colorado at Boulder, Department of Sociology]

For more information on the impact of obesity, the following study may be of interest:

·         “Fraction of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Attributable to Overweight and Obesity by Race/ Ethnicity, California, 2007-2009,” by Shin Y. Kim

 

The articles above will be published online Aug. 15, 2013, at 4 p.m. (EDT)* by the American Journal of Public Health® under “First Look,” and they are currently scheduled to appear in the October2013 print issue of the Journal. “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. The American Journal of Public Health is published by the American Public Health Association.

The American Journal of Public Health ® is the monthly journal of the American Public Health Association, the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. APHA is a leading publisher of books and periodicals promoting sound scientific standards, action programs and public policy to enhance health.

Complimentary online access to the Journal is available to credentialed members of the media. Address inquiries to Kimberly Short at APHA, 202-777-2511, or via email. A single print issue of the Journal is available for $35 from the Journal’s Subscriptions department. If you are not a member of the press, a member of APHA or a subscriber, online single issue access is $30, and online single article access is $22. For direct customer service, call 202-777-2516, or email us.

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