Kids al­lowed al­co­hol more likely to drink later

Lesotho Times - - Health -

Un­safe food­stuffs can con­tain many types of harm­ful bac­te­ria, viruses, par­a­sites or chem­i­cals.

Ex­am­ples in­clude un­der­cooked meat, fruits and veg­eta­bles con­tam­i­nated with fae­ces and shell­fish con­tain­ing marine tox­ins.

But the WHO says in­ves­ti­gat­ing th­ese out­breaks has be­come in­creas­ingly chal­leng­ing as sin­gle plates of food of­ten have in­gre­di­ents from many coun­tries.

In its first WHO re­port on this is­sue, its direc­tor-gen­eral Dr Mar­garet Chan warns: “A lo­cal food prob­lem can quickly turn into an in­ter­na­tional emer­gency.

“Food pro­duc­tion has been in­dus­tri­alised, and its trade and dis­tri­bu­tion have been glob­alised.

“Th­ese changes in­tro­duce mul­ti­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties for food to be­come con­tam­i­nated with harm­ful bac­te­ria, viruses, par­a­sites or chem­i­cals.”

The anal­y­sis, which pulls to­gether sci­en­tific lit­er­a­ture from across the globe, shows:

Most deaths are caused by pathogens such as sal­monella, E. coli and norovirus

The ma­jor­ity of lives lost are in Africa and South East Asia

40 per­cent of the deaths are among the un­der-5s, the most vul­ner­a­ble group

Raw haz­ards Ex­perts say ill­nesses caused by food also carry ma­jor eco­nomic risks.

They es­ti­mate the E. coli out­break in Ger­many in 2011 cost about Us$1.3bn (£876m) in losses for farm­ers and in­dus­tries.

WHO lead­ers are call­ing on gov­ern­ments to ur­gently strengthen food safety sys­tems.

On 7 April 2015, the WHO launched its food safety cam­paign, From Farm to Plate.

It aims to prompt the public and gov­ern­ments to con­sider where in­di­vid­ual in­gre­di­ents in meals come from and ques­tion whether th­ese are prop­erly and safely han­dled at ev­ery stage.

How to be food-safe: Wash hands, sur­faces and equip­ment be­fore pre­par­ing food

Sep­a­rate raw and cooked food — use sep­a­rate uten­sils for han­dling raw foods

Safe tem­per­a­tures — do not keep cooked food at room tem­per­a­ture for more than two hours. Keep food pip­ing hot (above 60C) be­fore serv­ing

Use safe wa­ter to wash raw fruit and veg­eta­bles — WHO The Amer­i­can So­ci­ety for Re­pro­duc­tive Medicine es­ti­mates that up to 13 per­cent of fe­male in­fer­til­ity di­ag­noses are due to smok­ing. Be­lieve it or not, smok­ing as few as five cig­a­rettes a day each has been as­so­ci­ated with IF you’ve al­ready al­lowed your kids to take a lit­tle sip of your beer or wine from time to time, you prob­a­bly won’t be pleased when you hear the find­ings of a new re­port.

The study, pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Stud­ies on Al­co­hol and Drugs, found that chil­dren who had sipped al­co­hol by the sixth grade were about five times more likely to have a full drink by the time they were in high school and four times more likely to binge drink or get drunk.

“I don’t think par­ents need to feel that their child is ‘doomed,’” Kristina Jack­son, one of the coau­thors of the study, said of par­ents who al­ready let their kids have sips of al­co­hol.

She noted that only a quar­ter of the sip­pers re­ported con­sum­ing a full drink by the ninth grade and that less than 10 per­cent said they got drunk.

“I think the most im­por­tant thing is to make sure that chil­dren know when drink­ing al­co­hol is ac­cept­able and when it is not,” said Jack­son, a re­search as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at Brown Uni­ver­sity’s Cen­tre for Al­co­hol and Ad­dic­tion Stud­ies.

The study in­volved sur­veys of 561 mid­dle school stu­dents in Rhode Is­land over a three-year pe­riod.

A lit­tle un­der a third of the stu­dents said they had sipped al­co­hol by the start of mid­dle school, When men or women carry ex­tra weight, hor­monal shifts oc­cur in the body that can af­fect with most of those say­ing they got the al­co­hol from their par­ents at a party or on a spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

Even when fac­tor­ing out is­sues that could en­cour­age prob­lem drink­ing down the road, such as how much their par­ents drink, a his­tory of al­co­holism in their fam­ily or hav­ing a risk-tak­ing per­son­al­ity, the chil­dren who sipped were more likely to be drink­ing in high school, said Jack­son.

Twenty-six per­cent of the kids who had sipped al­co­hol said they had a full drink by the ninth grade ver­sus un­der 6 per­cent for the kids who never sipped al­co­hol, the sur­vey found.

Nine per­cent said they had binged on al­co­hol ( had five or more drinks at one time) or got­ten drunk ver­sus un­der 2 per­cent for the non-sip­pers.

“I would say that it is ad­vis­able not to of­fer your child a sip of your bev­er­age, as it may send the wrong mes­sage — younger teens and tweens may be un­able to un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence be­tween drink­ing a sip and drink­ing one or more drinks,” Jack­son said.

This lat­est study fol­lows a re­port last year, also in the Jour­nal of Stud­ies on Al­co­hol and Drugs (PDF), that an­a­lysed a num­ber of stud­ies all com­ing to the same con­clu­sion: Of­fer­ing even small amounts of al­co­hol to chil­dren could lead to neg­a­tive out­comes.

A 2011 study in Swe­den of 13-year-olds found that when chil­dren were of­fered al­co­hol by a par­ent, it was as­so­ci­ated with a higher like­li­hood of heavy episodic drink­ing in girls but not in boys.

A 1997 study of fourth- and sixth-graders in the United States found that when par­ents of­fered chil­dren a small amount of al­co­hol, the chil­dren were more likely to ini­ti­ate al­co­hol use on their own. In ad­di­tion, an­other study com­pared sev­enth-graders in the United States with Australia, where adult su­per­vised drink­ing for teens is al­lowed. About 36 per­cent of the Aus­tralian teens had prob­lems with binge drink­ing, com­pared with only 21 per­cent of Amer­i­can teens, ac­cord­ing to the 2011 study.

How­ever, one study that was done over a decade ago seemed to come to the op­po­site con­clu­sion. It found that early in­tro­duc­tions to al­co­hol could ac­tu­ally re­duce the like­li­hood of binge drink­ing later on.

That study, con­ducted in 2004 and re­ported in a lengthy Time mag­a­zine story in 2008, found that chil­dren who drank with their par­ents were about half as likely to say they had al­co­hol in the past month and about onethird as likely to ad­mit to binge drink­ing than kids who did not drink with their par­ents. — CNN

Kids al­lowed to sip al­co­hol are more likely to have a full drink by high school, a study found.

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