Alcohol and drinking young - Part One

I was asked to comment recently on the study showing that the younger you introduce your kids to alcohol, the more likely they are to become problem drinkers.

Here is part one of my response. 

I understand why you would think to introduce alcohol to your child yourself, as it does seem logical that if we introduce our children to alcohol in a safe environment and teach them how to drink (as we think the French do very successfully), then they will appreciate fine wine, they will not develop drinking problems, and they will avoid the marketing across society to over-drink and to not binge drink.  

However the research done many times, over many years, in many different countries tells us this does not happen.  The drinking problems in the young now are epidemic around the world.  

  • The French have over 7 million people with drinking problems – nearly twice the NZ population  
  • They lose more lives to alcohol than cancer and heart disease combined in those aged 25-35  
  • It is the #1 cause of death for the young according Catherine Hill from the Biostatistics & Epidemiology department at the Institue Gustave Roussy, in Paris  
  • Over 36,500 French men die each year from alcohol-related illnesses  
  • This is around 13% of the overall male mortality rate  
  • Alcohol kills around 49,000 French people each year  
  • Tragically 40% of the alcohol-related deaths were people under the age of 65  

Is this a good and healthy relationship with alcohol that we should be emulating?

Posted: Tuesday 14 October 2014