Almost a third of young people don't drink alcohol, says BMC study

Modesto Morganelli
Ottobre 13, 2018

"Since the rise in non-drinking is widespread among young people, and not just among minority groups, we believe that the underlying factor is cultural", the study's lead author Linda Ng Fat, a research associate at UCL's Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care, told CNN.

"The increase in young people who choose not to drink alcohol suggests that this behaviour may be becoming more acceptable, whereas risky behaviours such as binge drinking may be becoming less normalised".

Along with an increase in non-drinking, we found the number of 16-24 year olds engaging in periodic abstinence increased from one in three not drinking in the past week in 2005, to one in two in 2015.

Even binge drinking is on the decline: with significant decreases in the number of young people who drank above recommended limits (from 43% to 28%) or who binge drank (27% to 18%).

Researchers looked at official health data from the last decade and found nearly a third of 16 to 24-year-olds in 2015 said they didn't drink, compared with around one in five in 2005.

This would be consistent with Skog's theory on drinking behavior 'The Collectivity of Drinking Cultures' which suggests that population drinking patterns appears to move in tandem with one another; and it is actually reducing mean consumption that is effective in reducing problematic drinking overall.

It has been well documented that more and more young people are not drinking alcohol.

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

"Both trends are to be welcomed from a public-health standpoint and should be capitalized on going forward".

But increases in non-drinking were not found among ethnic minorities, those with poor mental health and smokers.

According to Dr. Fat these results are also consistent with other findings such as a decline in smoking and recreational drugs abuse along with other risky behaviors.

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