News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Alcohol – the Christmas gift kids don’t need

20 December 2019

The festive season is here and MidCentral District Health Board (MDHB) is encouraging those planning to drink and supply alcohol to do so responsibly.

While some parents may believe giving alcohol to their underage children teaches them to drink sensibly and safely, advice from the Health Promotion Agency is for people under 18 to avoid drinking alcohol entirely.

Research out of Australia has also confirmed that early drinking, even sips or tastes, can be connected to earlier and more harmful patterns of alcohol consumption. These early “tastings” could lead to increased frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption and increased alcohol-related problems in early adolescence.

MDHB Health Promotion Adviser Martin Macmaster said the MDHB Public Health Unit agreed with the advice. “Parents may think they are doing the right thing but they are probably unaware of the research and the potential for harm.”

Mr Macmaster said the research found there was no evidence of underage drinking having a protective effect later in life.

“The research instead suggests that they are being trained to drink, and drink earlier than they would have. Media images and sweet, easy to drink RTDs, are just a couple of the many influences pushing young people to drink.”

The MDHB Public Health Unit advices people to keep themelves, their friends and family safe over this festive season by drinking in moderation.

“People can reduce the impacts of alcohol by eating beforehand, drinking water between alcoholic drinks or drinking low-alcohol beverages. These steps can impact how you feel and function the following day, as well as help you to avoid expensive, embarrassing or dangerous problems on the night.”

Hosts are encouraged to provide plenty of food and non-alcoholic drinks at work or at home. Guests should also be encouraged to not drive after drinking and to organise sober drivers or taxis.

If you find it hard to stop drinking or to cut back, please talk to someone you trust or call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland