Young adults in Britain turn their backs on alcohol: study

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/10/11 10:08:00

A quarter of young people in Britain aged 16 to 24 class themselves as non-drinkers of alcohol, a study in London showed Wednesday.

The research by University College London said abstaining from alcohol was becoming more mainstream among young people, with an increase in the proportion of 16 to 24 years olds in England shunning alcohol completely. Researchers said it pointed to the norms around drinking appearing to be changing.

Dr Linda Ng Fat, lead author of the study, said: "Increases in non-drinking among young people were found across a broad range of groups, including those living in northern or southern regions of England, among the white population, those in full-time education, in employment and across all social classes and healthier groups."

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

"The increase in young people who choose not to drink alcohol suggests that this behavior maybe becoming more acceptable, whereas risky behaviors such as binge drinking may be becoming less normalized," added Ng Fat, a renowned academic expert on trends in alcohol consumption among young people.

The research, published in the medical journal BMC Public Health, found more than 25 percent of young people now classed themselves as "non-drinkers".

Data from the annual health survey for England studied by the researchers found the proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds who do not drink alcohol had increased over a 10 year period from 18 percent to 29 percent.

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.

But the study of 10,000 young people also found that increased rates of non-drinking were not seen among cigarette smokers, ethnic minorities and people with poor mental health.


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