A third of under-25s now drink no alcohol

Desiree Burns
October 12, 2018

In 2005 figures showed that 43 percent of young people admitted to consuming above the recommended limits of alcohol, but 10 years later this proportion had fallen to 28 percent.

Researchers studied data on nearly 10,000 youngsters, collected via the annual Health Survey for England.

The study also appeared to show that fewer youngsters were drinking harmful amounts.

The researchers said it was "difficult to pinpoint a single factor" behind the trends, but suggested that increased awareness of the dangers of alcohol and tougher laws on its sale to minors may have contributed.

A third of young people abstain from alcohol and the proportion of them who have never tried it has nearly doubled in the past decade, according to one of the largest studies of youth drinking.

Young people are increasingly turning their backs on booze - with nearly a third teetotal, according to a shock new study.

"In our study based on 9,699 adults aged between 16 and 24, within the nationally representative Health Survey for England, we found the proportion of non-drinkers increased from 18% in 2005 to 29% in 2015".

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"That the increase in non-drinking was found across many different groups suggests that non-drinking may becoming more mainstream among young people which could be caused by cultural factors".

Furthermore, more young people were also engaging in weekly abstinence compared to previous generations (from 35% to 50%).

The study, published in the journal BMC Public Health, used data from nearly 10,000 young people taken from the annual Health Survey for England.

Non-drinking has traditionally been found to be higher among people with lower incomes, lower education, poorer mental and physical heath, and ethnic minorities. Binge drinking too declined from 27 percent to 18 percent over these 10 years.

"Both trends are to be welcomed from a public-health standpoint and should be capitalized on going forward". The recent campaigns such as Public Health England's "adopt alcohol-free days" specifically targeted at older consumers who tend to drink lighter but more frequently, but have not have not experienced a similar increase in non-drinking, is an example of this.

They analysed the proportion of non-drinkers among social demographic and health sub-groups, along with alcohol units consumed by those that did drink and levels of binge drinking.

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