Parents should not give their children even a small glass of wine or beer at meal times, drinks bosses warn
They have blasted middle-class families for introducing them to a drink
Bosses have condemned the idea it will help youngsters drink responsibly
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore is calling for ‘children to be protected’ by parents
By STEPHEN ADAMS
1 February 2020
Parents should not give their children even a small glass of beer or wine at dinner, warn the bosses of drinks firms.
They have condemned the trend – common among middle-class families – to introduce children to alcohol at meal times, in the belief it will teach them to drink responsibly.
Albert Baladi, chairman of the industry-funded International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), said: ‘We call on parents to support us by not buying alcohol for, or sharing alcohol with, children – even if they do this with good intentions.’
One in six British parents allows their children to drink alcohol before the age of 14, according to a 2017 study.
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: ‘We support genuine initiatives to cut alcohol consumption by children.
‘However, the track record of the drinks industry is poor, from formulating alcopops to unacceptable advertising practices. The AHA will want to see prompt action – not just fine words – to ensure children really are protected.’