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Everyone agrees on harm of drinking during pregnancy

27 July 2018

Everyone agrees on harm of drinking during pregnancy, says NZABC

The New Zealand Alcohol Beverages Council agrees with the latest Otago University research findings that show the harm of drinking during pregnancy.

“These risks are well documented and accepted by the alcohol industry, the vast majority of New Zealanders, and Government, so in many ways this ‘new research’ doesn’t tell us anything new at all,” says NZABC Executive Director Nick Leggett.

A comprehensive top-to-bottom government strategy on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder was adopted two years ago, and engaged GPs and midwives and all health services that interact with women during pregnancy. The strategy acknowledges the issues and the risks, and has been integrated at all levels to educate the public.

“We don’t agree with the statement that New Zealanders are ‘brainwashed and in the grips of a mass social delusion’, as these academics contend. That’s why the vast majority of women don’t drink during pregnancy and why millions of Kiwis continue to drink moderately and sensibly.”

Nick Leggett says big gains have been made in awareness among women, particularly those aged 18-24, who data suggests have 100% awareness and agree with the statement that if they were pregnant or thought they were pregnant would cease consuming alcohol.

“NZABC is supportive of any and all government programmes that give pregnant women information to make good decisions about the health of their unborn child and that encourage all New Zealanders to recognise the risks and be supportive of pregnant women who are rightly making the decision not to consume alcohol when pregnant.”

Nick Leggett says nobody can afford to rest on their laurels over improving figures and awareness, but that it’s worthwhile recognising that progress has been made.

Health Promotion Agency survey drinking during pregnancy 2017


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