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Rapid Ingestion of Supersized Alcopops: An Examination of YouTube Videos

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Objective: Supersized alcopops (eg, Four Loko) are a type of sugar-sweetened beverage that can contain the alcohol content of 5 standard drinks. Therefore, consuming a single supersized alcopop in one sitting is unsafe. The current study identified YouTube videos that included rapid Four Loko consumption (ie, chugging events). The aims were to document video popularity and describe the nature of the events including quantity consumed, drinking context, and speed of consumption. Methods: Two coders examined 160 videos identified using the search terms "four loko" and "4 loko" in combination with: "chug," "shotgun," "funnel," and "bong." The analysis sample comprised 116 chugging events. Results: On average, the Four Loko videos had been viewed more than 30,000 times. Most chugging attempts involved one can; 8.6% involved multiple cans in one event. Most chug attempts were successful (91%), involved men (98%), and took place inside a residence (73%). Each of the 106 successful chug attempts – including those involving multiple Four Lokos – took less than 2-1/2 minutes to complete. Conclusion: There are many publicly available videos portraying high-risk drinking of supersized alcopops, which may have dis-inhibitory effects on viewers. To prevent risky drinking, better regulation of supersized alcopops and social media content is needed.
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Keywords: ALCOHOL; ALCOPOP; BINGE DRINKING; FOUR LOKO; HEAVY EPISODIC DRINKING; SOCIAL MEDIA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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