English children lead global charts in shocking alcohol consumption trends

Over one third of 11-year-olds and more than half of 13-year-olds in England have drank alcohol, according to a new report published today (25 April) by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The report, ‘A focus on adolescent substance use in Europe, central Asia and Canada’, showed that 11-year-old and 13-year-old English children have the highest rate of alcohol consumption.

The data also found that 13 and 15-year-old girls drank more than their male counterparts.

280,000 children from 44 countries were surveyed to look at substance consumption amongst adolescents.

At age 13, the report found 12% of girls and 9% of boys in England had been drunk at least twice in their lives. This increased to one third of girls and one quarter of boys at 15 years of age.

Further data revealed that girls aged 13 and 15 in Great Britain were smoking and vaping more than boys the same age.

Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO regional director for Europe, said: “The widespread use of harmful substances among children in many countries across the European Region – and beyond – is a serious public health threat.

“Considering that the brain continues to develop well into a person’s mid-20s, adolescents need to be protected from the effects of toxic and dangerous products.

“Unfortunately, children today are constantly exposed to targeted online marketing of harmful products, while popular culture, like video games, normalises them.”

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