The American College Health Association (ACHA) has joined a growing list of organizations endorsing the Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV’s drive to reduce the exposure of young people to alcohol advertising on televised sports events. The Campaign’s initial efforts aim to end alcohol ads on televised college sports events.
The ACHA endorsement drew immediate praise from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a Washington-based public health advocacy organization that coordinates the Campaign.
George A. Hacker, director of the Alcohol Policies Project at CSPI, thanked ACHA for "demonstrating real leadership on behalf of college students and millions of other young people. ACHA is committed to the health and well-being of college students and to protecting students from the risks of underage and excessive drinking. The association is an important ally for us in the effort to break the association of alcohol with college sports broadcasts."
ACHA President Nancy Allen said that the organization is "proud to be part of this vital effort to address this important health and safety problem for college students-- underage and excessive drinking. With our endorsement of the central principles of the Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV, we hope to send a strong signal to college students, administrators, and the public that it is inappropriate for college sports events to be used as a platform for alcohol marketing to young people."
Underage and excessive drinking cause serious problems on many college campuses. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in one national study of college students, nearly a third (31 percent) met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse.
ACHA joins more then 160 other national, state, and local organizations endorsing the Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV. Other endorsers include the American Public Health Association, the National High School Athletic Coaches Association, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and A Matter of Degree at the American Medical Association.
Beer marketers spent $58 million in 2002 for 6,251 ads on televised college sports. Of that, $27 million went for ads during the 2002 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament, which had more alcohol ads than the Super Bowl, World Series, college football bowl games, and NFL Monday Night Football combined.
Earlier this year, the Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV asked all member schools of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to sign the "College Commitment," and commit to working to end alcohol advertising on televised college games. The Ohio State University, the 2002 NCAA national football champion, was the first school to sign. As of today, 211 schools, 20 percent of NCAA schools, signed the College Commitment.
ACHA, the nation’s principal advocate and leadership organization for college and university health, has more than 900 institutional members and more than 2,400 individual members who provide and support the delivery of health care and prevention and wellness services for the nation’s 15.3 million college students. One of ACHA’s principal research tools is the National College Health Assessment, a surveying instrument that can assist colleges in their alcohol abuse prevention efforts by helping to measure student alcohol use, perceptions of alcohol use, and the self-reported impact of alcohol use on academic performance.
CSPI is a nonprofit health-advocacy organization that focuses on alcoholic-beverage problems, nutrition, and food safety. It is based in Washington, D.C., and is supported largely by more than 850,000 subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter and foundation grants. It does not accept industry or government funding.