Are people in their 20s cutting out alcohol?

Leslie Hanson
October 12, 2018

Researchers also found that 29 per cent called themselves non-drinkers, up from 18 per cent in the same period, and 17 per cent said that they had always been teetotal, up from 9 per cent.

Binge drinking is also in decline among young adults, down from 27% to 18% across the decade to 2015, and "may be becoming less normalised", said the report, which found rates of harmful drinking declined from 43% to 28%.

This was largely attributable to increases in lifetime abstention, the study said.

The research by University College London said abstaining from alcohol was becoming more mainstream among young people, with an increase in the proportion of 16 to 24 years olds in England shunning alcohol completely.

The team used data from 9,699 people aged 16-24 years collected between 2005-2015.

Along with an increase in non-drinking, we found the number of 16-24 year olds engaging in periodic abstinence increased from one in three not drinking in the past week in 2005, to one in two in 2015.


The data revealed that 29% of 16-24-year-olds in the United Kingdom don't drink alcohol - a significant increase from 18% back in 2005.

"More research needs to be carried out to investigate this further, whether the drivers could also explain declines in other risky behaviors we are witnessing among young people", she added.

This number was around 35 percent in 2005, they noted.

But the increased rates in non-drinking were not observed among smokers, ethnic minorities and those with poor mental health, according to the study, which analysed data on nearly 10,000 young people.

However, our study found that non-drinking was not increasing among these groups but rather across a wide spectrum including, among the white population, north and south regions, students, those in employment and across higher and lower social classes. The recent campaigns such as Public Health England's "adopt alcohol-free days" specifically targeted at older consumers who tend to drink lighter but more frequently, but have not have not experienced a similar increase in non-drinking, is an example of this. Factors influencing the shift away from drinking should be capitalised on going forward to ensure that healthier drinking behaviours in young people continue to be encouraged'.

Just one in 10 English teenagers drank alcohol weekly in 2014, down from around half in 2002, the World Health Organization said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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