Can YouTube be bad for your health? A new study in Great Britain finds that significant numbers of adolescents are being exposed to tobacco and alcohol content in popular videos from the likes of Jason Derulo and Pitbull. Research from the University of Nottingham (and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health) showed that repeated exposure while watching such videos poses a ”significant health hazard that requires appropriate regulatory control.”
Researchers analyzed 32 popular videos during a 12-week period, and estimated that on average more teenagers (22 percent) were watching them than adults (6 percent). The research then calculated the number of verbal or visual references to alcohol or tobacco in the videos and concluded that they were responsible for over 1 billion impressions of alcohol and 203 million of tobacco.
The research concluded that girls between 13 and 15 were the most exposed to cigarettes and alcohol in the videos. The videos with some of the highest number of tobacco references include “Trumpets” by Jason Derulo, “Love Me Again” by John Newman and “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. Video with the highest impressions of alcohol were “Timber” by Pitbull and “Drunk in Love” by Beyonce.