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Thursday, 29 January 2009

Sir Liam Donaldson says new advice is based on research showing serious damage drink can do to children's health.

Children under 15 should not drink any alcohol, says chief medical officer
article in the Guardian


"Children under 15 should not drink any alcohol, the government's chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, said today.

He said the new advice was based on research which showed the serious damage drink could do to children's health.

Donaldson's advice appeared to contradict the government's current policy on alcohol and children. The DirectGov website says there "is no right age" at which teenagers can be allowed to drink.

Donaldson said the new advice was aimed at clearing up confusion among parents over the issue.

"We have a third of a million 11 to 15 years old on a typical weekend drinking alcohol. That's a massive number and we've got to do something about it," he told GMTV.

"The information we got from surveying parents was that actually they are quite confused about the medical and health implications of children drinking alcohol."

He said research said drink could seriously affect brain development in the young.

"We're trying to get the message across that children aged under 15 are still developing, their brains are developing, and drinking alcohol can do some quite serious damage."

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