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UK teen girls worst for drinking

2nd September 2009

An international survey has revealed that British teenagers are more likely to get drunk than anywhere else in the industrialised world.

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And the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report says in the UK that girls are more likely to have been drunk than boys in the 15-year-old age bracket.

However, the Doing Better for Children study also found teenagers in the UK were materially well-off and enjoyed a high quality of school life.

The study compares the wellbeing of young people in the leading industrial nations.

British children enjoy generous support when growing up, above-average state funding, low child poverty and levels of bullying, along with lower teenage suicide rates than many other countries.

Teenager pregnancy rates are high but it is alcohol consumption that is a critical factor with British teens.

Their level of drunkenness is the highest among 24 OECD countries and the figures for those who get drunk under age is more than double the rate for countries such as the United States, France and Italy.

Dominic Richardson, one of the report authors, said: “The difference in the UK is the high level of risk taking.”

England's Children's Minister Dawn Primarolo said she was disappointed with the findings but felt that initiatives to help young people were beginning to show results.

She said: "Recent statistics have shown encouraging decreases in teenage conceptions during the first half of 2008, that fewer teenagers than ever before are choosing to drink alcohol and we know that drug use among young people is falling."

 

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