Monday, October 8, 2007

Binge drinking soars among under-14s

One in seven people taken to hospital for drinking too much in the past year was under 14 years old, according to new figures.

A total of 2,239 under-14s were given treatment in A&E suffering from the effects of alcohol over the past 12 months, a study found - one in seven of the total under 59 admitted.

The revelations about the scale of underage drinking led to renewed calls for a clampdown on alcohol advertising seemingly targeted at children.

Frank Soodeen, of Alcohol Concern, said: "I can well believe these figures, it does not come as a surprise.

"We have already seen that the amount 11 and 13-year-olds are consuming when they are drunk has doubled.

"This is an issue not just about the accessibility of drink for youngsters, but also the influences they encounter."

The article goes on to try and put most of the blame on alcohol companies advertising alcohol to teens. However, I would squarely put the blame on parents. If more parents were willing to shut the TV off, or just get it out of the house, two things would happen. Children would be much less influence by what is on TV, and TV advertising would change to try and recapture the lost viewing audience. Right now, TV programming and advertising are specifically geared at what people are watching and what they enjoy seeing. As long as the populous is turning on and tuning in, the quality of programming will continue to spiral down the toilet.

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