Kids who live near the setting for TV’s boozy Geordie Shore are far more likely to drink underage.
A shocking new study reveals that Britain’s Top 10 worst spots for under-18 drinking include no less than FIVE areas around the show’s Newcastle base.
And children there are TEN times more likely to be hospitalised for binge drinking than in areas of London.
Experts are now warning that reality TV shows like Geordie Shore, with alcohol in almost every scene, lead children into dangerous behaviour.
Data for the past three years from Public Health England shows South Tyneside is the worst place in the country for under-18s needing hospital treatment for drinking too much, with almost 107 per 100,000 population hospitalised over three years.
Sunderland, North Tyneside, Gateshead and Stockton-on-Tees are also in the Top Ten. Areas of London fare best in the study – Brent, Waltham Forest and Havering all have admission levels of less than 10 per 100,000.
Dr Jo Cranwell from the University of Bath has specifically researched Geordie Shore, which launched the TV careers of Vicky Pattison, Marnie Simpson and Charlotte Crosby.
She says that in scenes with “real people who young viewers in particular relate to” viewers are exposed to “extreme levels of alcohol content including high levels of intoxication”.
She adds: “This all suggests Geordie Shore might be a risk factor and could be exacerbating serious problems associated with binge drinking.” She found that nearly 80 per cent of scenes throughout season 11 of the MTV show featured alcohol.
Her fear is shared by Colin Shevill of North East alcohol awareness charity Balance. He said “This north-south burden of harm long pre-dates Geordie Shore, but it does highlight the way alcohol is glamorised in TV shows and through advertising. There is overwhelming evidence that exposure to alcohol marketing increases the risk.”
He also believes the government must push up the current “pocket money prices” of booze, as has already happened in Scotland.
“It is still possible to buy a bottle of strong white cider with the same amount of alcohol as 22 shots of vodka for just £3.79 in England,” he said.
Rosanna O’Connor, Director of Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco at Public Health England said: “This is a top priority.”
Here’s the full list of Area Under-18s hospitalised per 100,000 population
1 South Tyneside – 107
2 St Helens – 98
3 Sunderland – 93
4 North Tyneside – 81
5 Gateshead – 74
6 StocktononTees – 71
7 Isle of Wight – 69
8 Blackpool – 67
9 Stockport – 62
10 Salford – 61
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