Alcohol consumption among German teens aged 12-17 at historic low: study

May 9, 2019

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BERLIN : Regular alcohol consumption by German teens aged 12-17 has declined significantly, according to a study published by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) on Wednesday.

The study found that in Germany, 8.7 percent of young people aged between 12 and 17 consumed alcohol "regularly", which meant at least once a week.

This was a "historically low level," the study stated. Back in 2004, the figure for regular alcohol consumption in this age group was 21.2 percent.

"It is gratifying that never before have so few young people in Germany regularly consumed alcohol. This shows that the joint efforts of the federal, state and local governments in alcohol prevention are reaching the target group," said Heidrun Thaiss, BZgA's executive director.

However, the study found that more young adults in Germany aged between 18 and 25 were binge drinkers, with this figure rising to 37.8 percent "after a longer decline."

"Even though the overall figures are encouraging, we see a trend among young adults that needs to be curbed: adulthood does not mean that it is suddenly okay to drink too much alcohol," said the German federal government's Drug Commissioner Marlene Mortler.

The health education center's youth campaign "Alcohol? Know Your Limit" is aimed at 16 to 20-year-olds and "is the most comprehensive alcohol prevention campaign in Germany."

According to the study, overall awareness of the campaign has been declining among young people since 2012 and among young adults between 2016 and 2018.

Less than half of 12- to 17-year-old Germans said the campaign slogan "Alcohol? Know Your Limit" was familiar to them.

In contrast, 83.7 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds said they recognized the nationwide alcohol prevention campaign slogan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified alcohol as "one of the substances with addictive potential most commonly used by adolescents."

In Europe, alcohol is the third leading risk factor for death and loss of health due to disease, while alcohol consumption in Europe is almost double the global average, according to the WHO.  Enditem (Xinhua)