No booze for under-15s, UK chief doc tells parents

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London, December 17 (ANI): Children under 15 should not drink alcohol at all, while those below 18 should not consume it more than one day a week, according to a British expert.

The Government's chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, claimed that the 500,000 children aged between 11-15 get drunk every month.

"There is no evidence to support the idea that you should wean children onto alcohol at an early age so they get used to it," the Independent quoted him as saying.

He added: "The evidence shows that the earlier children are introduced to alcohol the more likely they are to get a taste for it and become binge drinkers as teenagers and heavy drinkers as adults."

However, he dismissed the notion that getting younger children introduced to alcohol with parents allowing occasional glass of wine is a "middle class obsession."

Ian Gilmour, president of the Royal College of Physicians and a prominent campaigner for greater restrictions on alcohol, said:

"In strong families with good parental support it is perfectly reasonable to introduce alcohol to children before the age of 15 in a controlled environment as the French are traditionally supposed to do. But you cannot generalise."

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware, added: "The drinking culture in the UK is entrenched and many young people see drinking alcohol as a rite of passage.

"It's imperative that from an early age, we start to educate children and young people about the dangers of alcohol misuse." (ANI)

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