Researchers from The University of Manchester and the University of Newcastle in Australia quizzed nearly 1,300 sportspeople and found alcohol-related companies sponsored almost half of them.
The sponsorship ranged from financial incentives, such as payment of competition fees and the supply of sports kit, but nearly half of the sponsorship deals included free or discounted alcohol for sporting functions and post-match celebrations.
The study, published in the December edition of the journal Addiction, found that sportspeople sponsored by the alcohol industry were more likely to engage in binge drinking than those with no alcohol sponsor.
This figure increased significantly when the sponsorship deal included free or discounted booze, and among those sportspeople who believed there was an obligation for them to drink the sponsor’s products or attend their establishments.
“Alcohol consumption is a leading cause of mortality, responsible for 9.2% of the disease burden in developed countries,” said the study’s author, Dr Kerry O’Brien, who is based in Manchester’s School of Psychological Sciences.
“Heavy episodic drinking is particularly harmful. It is common among sportspeople and is associated with other risky behaviour, such as drink-driving, unprotected sex and antisocial behaviour.”
A growing body of research has detailed the drinking behaviour of sportspeople, including peer pressure and the increased opportunities for consumption, but this is the first time a link between sport sponsorship and hazardous drinking by sportspeople has been investigated.
“Sportspeople receiving direct alcohol-industry sponsorship of any kind, including payment of competition fees, costs for uniforms and the provision of alcoholic beverages, reported more hazardous drinking than those not receiving sponsorship,” said Dr O’Brien.
“Similarly, those receiving free or discounted drinks from sponsors and those sportspeople that felt they were required to drink their sponsor’s alcohol product at their establishments reported even higher levels of drinking.
“While finding that provision of free or discounted alcohol is linked to higher-reported drinking seems common sense, we needed to show clearly that this form of sponsorship occurs, and that it is actually associated with hazardous drinking.”
The research, say the authors, raises serious ethical issues for sports administrators concerned with the health of sportspeople. Dr O’Brien added: “We suggest that health and governmental organisations need to work with sporting organisations and clubs to find ways to sever links with the alcohol industry, while still ensuring sports groups have sufficient financial support.”
Aeron Haworth | alfa
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
23.01.2018 | Life Sciences
23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy