Chief medical officer Liam Donaldson says under-15s should not taste alcohol. Find out what they have tasted in different countries around the world
The chief medical officer Liam Donaldson has laid into parents who give their children watered-down wine in the hope of introducing them to sensible drinking habits. Today he recommends that no young person under the age of 15 should drink at all.
Sir Liam said that parents should set their children a good example and 15-to 17-year-olds should be allowed to drink only under parental supervision. Studies showed that alcohol was damaging to young people, he said, but there had been no guidance for parents before.
So how do our children indulge - and how does it compare in different countries?
Unicef's Innocenti Research Centre is one of the best sources of data on children's behaviour and treatment in the world. Its report card on the well-being of children in rich countries was published in 2007 - but is still a fantastic source of useful information.
We've extracted some key data from the PDF, showing how children in different countries use alcohol, smoke and take cannabis. Take a look and let us know what you can do with it.
December 17, 2009
PDF can be found at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=tMWnnXPlHDA9LGKGnf80KWw until it is approved in the file archive.