Children given alcohol by parents in the belief it will foster responsible drinking are more likely to become binge drinkers, a major new study has found.
The six-year analysis of nearly 2,000 12 to 18-year-olds revealed there were “no benefits” to introducing alcohol to teenagers at home and that doing so only encouraged them to seek it elsewhere.
Writing in The Lancet, the researchers say that despite a widespread folk belief that a parentally-supplied glass of wine over Sunday lunch or a quiet beer in the evening promotes a stable attitude to drinking, there is in fact no reliable evidence to back this up.
Instead, they show that the chances of binge drinking, alcohol-related harm or displaying symptoms of alcohol use disorder are all higher in children provided alcohol by parents.
Bit difficult, really.
The analysis found that, on average, 62 per cent of teenagers who were not given alcohol by their parents went on to binge drink – described as four or more drinks in one session – compared to 81 per cent who were.
Ah, that’;s where the problem is then. The definition of binge. What we want to know is which training system leads to more people harming themselves, not the number who get drunk once in their lives.