The under-18s would appear to be better informed by their parents about the risks attached to drinking alcohol, according to research on behalf of campaign group Gezonde Generatie.
Some 40% of the 10 to 17-year-olds in the survey said alcohol was unhealthy, compared with 27% of adults. Almost half said alcohol was something for adults and 30% said they did not like the taste which is, “a start”, Ninette van Hasselt, from the Trimbos institute, told the AD on Tuesday.
Compared with 10 years ago, fewer youngsters drink alcohol but their attitude changes the nearer they get to the age of 18. Just 13% of 10 and 11-year-olds think drinking is fun, compared with 52% of those aged 16 and 17. Nevertheless, the average age at which children first taste alcohol is 13, the survey found.
Paeditrician Loes de Veld, who has campaigned against under-aged drinking for years, says that binge drinking is a serious problem among youngsters. She says between 700 and 800 youngsters are taken to hospital because they have alcohol poisoning every year.
“They are often unconscious or vomiting so seriously that they are in danger of choking,” she told the AD. “This is a long-term risk as well. Alcohol abuse damages the developing brain and makes it more likely they will drink too much as adults.”
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