11 to 15 year-olds in London alone consume around 180,000 bottles of lager a week, and girls now drink as much as girls. Hospital admissions, however, are twice as high for girls than boys, due to their lower tolerance levels.
There has also been an increase in alcohol consumption in communities in London that previously abstained from drinking, such as Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, but that children would often keep their drinking habits from their parents.
Chris Sorek, chief executive of charity Drinkaware, said: “Many young people see drinking alcohol as a rite of passage and an ordinary part of growing up, but rather than being ‘cool’, drinking too much can put young Londoners at risk of violence, health harms and unwanted pregnancies. The reality is that many young people don’t actually drink – but those that do can increasingly get themselves into tricky situations.”