Toasting to Ill Health

 “Alcohol advertising is not a harmless brand-promoting activity,” write the University of Cape Town's Leslie London and colleagues who researched the issue in an urban and rural area of South Africa.

Easy access to alcohol and exposure to alcohol ads take a heavy toll on women of child-birthing age. The researchers linked them to binge drinking and pregnancy complications in a country with the world’s highest rates of fetal alcohol syndrome.

Easy access to alcohol also had an inverse relationship to families’ ability to pay for health care. And other researchers found that alcohol consumption cost the country approximately 10-12% of GDP in 2009.

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