Over 25% of young people don't drink according to study 1 year ago

Over 25% of young people don't drink according to study

Here's to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems

So said Homer Simpson once, yellow, three-fingered purveyor of all the good things in life: beer, doughnuts, strangulation.

It appears that young people - defined specifically as 16-24 - are no longer drinking like they used to. In parks, on benches in parks, hidden within the bushes in parks, necking can after can of cheap acidic battery cider or nuclear alcopop.

Let's just be clear. This is a good thing. This is a very good thing. The world could do with a bit less alcohol coursing through its tired veins. The NHS could do with a lighter burden of alcohol-related injuries, illnesses and diseases, and trauma.

The research, published in the BMC Public Health journal, found that well over a quarter of young people classify as 'non-drinkers', as abstaining from alcohol consumption becomes "more mainstream" according to researchers.


Data from the annual health survey for England was taken and found the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who do not drink alcohol had risen from 18% in 2005 to 29% in 2015. Similarly, the percentage of lifetime abstainers had grown from 9 to 17 per cent over the same decade.

Binge-drinking appears to be on the decline as well, as 43% said they drank above the recommended limits in 2005, whilst only 28% declared so ten years later.

Despite the encouraging trend, alcohol consumption doesn't appear to have declined at all in poorer areas, or by ethnic minorities and smokers, after analysis of 10,000 young people.

Dr Linda Ng Fat, author of the study, said: “Increases in non-drinking among young people were found across a broad range of groups, including those living in northern or southern regions of England, among the white population, those in full-time education, in employment and across all social classes and healthier groups.

“The increase in young people who choose not to drink alcohol suggests that this behaviour maybe becoming more acceptable, whereas risky behaviours such as binge drinking may be becoming less normalised," she added.

I'll drink to that.