Poor youths drinking most

NZ Herald 4 Jan 2013
Adolescents living in the most deprived areas in New Zealand drink almost twice as much alcohol than their peers living at the other end of the scale, a joint study has found.

Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark and Massey University surveyed 1144 adolescents aged between 12 and 19 living in New Zealand across 10 area deprivation levels, 1 being the least deprived.

Their paper published in Health & Place found that at the poorer end of the scale, teenagers drank an average of 96.2ml of pure alcohol or 6.4 serves on each drinking occasion, while t the least deprived adolescents drank 50.6ml or 3.4 serves.

The study also found a “J shaped association” between drinking patterns and area deprivation – youth in the most deprived areas consumed the most alcohol on a typical occasion, but those in the least deprived consumed slightly more than those in the medium bracket.

Maori and Pacific young people drank 81.3ml and 74.3ml respectively, more than double that of their Asian contemporaries who consumed 35.2ml, the lowest surveyed.