UCL News


UCL in the News: Child binge drinkers at greater risk of alcoholism

6 September 2007

Children who have begun binge drinking by the age of 16 are more likely to use drugs as adults, become alcoholics and acquire a string of criminal convictions, researchers at the UCL Institute of Child Health in London said today.

In a long-term study of the lives led by 11,000 British children born in 1970, they found those who drank heavily in their mid-teens encountered a wide range of social and medical problems by the age of 30. …


The study, by Dr Russell Viner and Professor Brent Taylor, defined binge drinking as "two or more episodes of consuming four or more drinks in a row in the previous two weeks". They found 20% of the boys in their sample and 16% of girls drank this amount at 16. …

They suggested: "Binge drinking may contribute to the development of health and social inequalities during the transition from adolescence to adulthood."

John Carvel, 'The Guardian'