Alcohol ads teach kids that drinking is 'part of being a good New Zealander', researchers suggest

High rates of alcohol ads played during televised sport could lead children to believe drinking is "part of being a good New Zealander", researchers have suggested. 

Sport watchers were exposed to between 1.6 and 3.8 alcohol brands per minute over the 2014-15 summer period according to the research, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal. 

Australian researchers added ever-present alcohol ads could make children think they need to drink to be accepted as a "good" Kiwi.

The research is a timely reminder to New Zealand, says Massey University's Professor Sally Casswell, a country which is both "strongly engaged with sport and suffers from considerable alcohol-related harm".

"It must be acknowledged this is only a small part of the exposure to alcohol marketing which is rife in many forms of media, including, most insidiously, social media such as Facebook," she said in a statement.

Professor Steve Jackson from Otago University says "there are solutions", but said "it takes courageous and principled politicians that truly value the health and wellbeing of its citizens more than the interests of its corporate backers to introduce change".

The research was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal today. 

FILE: Beer drink.