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Angel Hristov December 1, 2023 2 min read
The BMJ Survey Implies Links Between Social Media Use and Youth Gambling
The BMJ evaluated over 126 previous surveys conducted between 1997 and 2022, involving millions of adolescents
A recent study by The British Medical Journal (BMJ) highlights the dangers social media presents to young people’s health. This, according to the experts, includes higher chances of participation in gambling and, by extension, higher risks of gambling harm.
Dubbed Social media use and health risk behaviors in young people: systematic review and meta-analysis, the study evaluates potential links between the use of social media and addictive tendencies. Primarily focused on people from 10 to 19, the study sought to understand how social media affects young and vulnerable audiences.
The BMJ linked the daily use of social media to the use of alcohol consumption, drug use, tobacco use, anti-social behavior, multiple risk behaviors and gambling. The study also found out that content showcasing health risk behaviors led to increased odds of use of electronic nicotine delivery systems, unhealthy dietary behaviors and alcohol consumption.
According to The BMJ’s findings, the daily use of social media increased young people’s odds of gambling by a whopping 200% compared to those who use social media infrequently. While the overall youth gambling in the UK is declining, the findings are a step toward further understanding of how to prevent it.
The BMJ experts concluded that the regular use of social media is associated with adverse health risk behaviors among young people. However, the study added that further research would be needed to better understand these links.
For reference, the study saw The BMJ evaluate over 126 previous surveys conducted between 1997 and 2022, involving millions of adolescents.
Another Survey Shows Youth Gambling Is on the Decline
As mentioned, the UKGC recently conducted another, more gambling-oriented study on younger people. Titled Young People and Gambling Survey for 2023, it probed into audiences aged 11 to 17 and learned that youth gambling is actually on the decline.
The study engaged 3,453 online participants across the United Kingdom and recorded a decrease of 5%. The encouraging results attested to the efficiency of the UKGC’s latest efforts to protect younger Brits.
For reference, some of the commission’s recent initiatives led to a 10% decrease in exposure to gambling advertisements among 11-17-year-olds.
The survey identified only 0.7% of young players as problem gamblers. It also identified 1.5% of respondents as at-risk players and 23% as non-problem gamblers. In the meantime, 74% of the young people had not taken part in gambling over the past year.