Sport blamed for Pacific teens’ drinking

NZ Herald 31 March 2012
About a third of Pacific Island high school students binge-drink and many say they started after joining a sports team or club. A study published in the NZ Medical Journal yesterday looking at binge drinking and alcohol-related behaviours among Pacific youth surveyed 974 Pacific students aged 13 to 17 from around the country. A total of 31.6 per cent of students were identified as binge drinkers, having answered questions about their drinking habits. The study found that those teens who participated in sports teams or were connected to a sports club were more at risk of binge-drinking. And it has since surfaced that a number of parents in South Auckland are refusing to sign their children up to local sports clubs as they don’t want them caught up in a drinking culture.

In the study, 47 per cent of students said they consumed alcohol “to get drunk” and 45 per cent said they drank “to relax”. About 36 per cent said they drank because of boredom while 23 per cent said they did so “because my friends do”.

See also: The UK takes action on alcohol
The Lancet 31 March 2012

Bold policy moves to promote public health have not defined the current UK Coalition Government. Last week, however, saw signs of a new approach to alcohol that could finally make health professionals breathe a sigh of relief. The government’s latest alcohol strategy states that a minimum unit price for alcohol will soon be introduced in England and Wales (it is already poised for introduction in Scotland). £0·40 per unit has been mooted as the price but the government will consult on the level in the coming months with “a view to introducing legislation as soon as possible”. Additionally, the government will consult on a ban on multibuy promotions in shops, clamp down on alcohol marketing deemed unacceptable by regulators, and work with regulators to ensure alcohol advertising is not shown during television programmes with high appeal to people younger than 18 years of age.