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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Finds One-fifth of Young Drinkers Report Consuming ‘Jello Shots’

About one in five underage youths reported consuming alcoholic jello shots in the past 30 days, and those youths were more likely to binge drink, consume more alcohol, and to have been involved in physical fights related to their drinking than their peers who did not consume jello shots, a study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher shows.

In the study, published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, Dr. Michael Siegel, professor of community health sciences, and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University and Fiorente Media Inc. of Boston used a national sample of 1,031 youths, ages 13 to 20, to assess past 30-day consumption of jello shots. This is the first study that sought to gauge the extent of jello shot consumption among underage youths.

The study found the prevalence of past-month jello shot consumption among the underage drinkers sampled was 20.4 percent — slightly higher for females than males. There were no significant differences by age, race, or region — but there was a trend of increasing jello shot use with lower levels of household income, as well as a higher prevalence among those without Internet access, according to the findings.

Jello shot users were “significantly more likely to drink heavily” than those who did not consume the shots, consuming alcohol 2.2 days more per week, on average, than non-users, the study found. The average number of alcoholic beverages consumed per month for jello shot users was also significantly higher, at 30.9 drinks per month, compared to an average of 18.8 drinks per month for non-users.

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