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Affluent teens twice as likely to drink regularly

Affluent teens twice as likely to drink regularly

Source: The Spirits Business

by Melita Kiely

10th December, 2015

Wealthy teenagers are twice as likely to drink alcohol on a regular basis compared to poorer adolescents, according to a study.

In light of the study, parents are being warned that introducing children to alcohol with a glass of wine at dinner will not protect them from becoming problem drinkers.

The research, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, showed approximately 70% of 15-year-olds from the least deprived backgrounds had tried alcohol, in comparison to around 50% from the most deprived.

The study examined 120,000 teenagers and reported just over three in five young people had previously consumed a whole alcoholic beverage, defined by the survey as “not just a sip”, with the richest 15-year-olds twice as likely to be regular drinkers.

Furthermore, affluent teenagers are more likely to continue drinking after first trying alcohol, according to the study, which is supported by the Department of Health.

Geographically, those living in the south west of England are more likely to have had an alcoholic drink (72%), while in London this figure stands at 41%, which demonstrated the lowest rates regionally.

Barnsley in South Yorkshire had the highest proportion of teenagers who had drunk alcohol (77%), followed by Devon (76.9%) and Cornwall (76.6%).