Children and teenagers are most likely to drink alcohol underage with their parents, according to new data from NHS Digital, Yahoo Style UK reports.
Of those who had obtained alcohol in the last four weeks, they were most likely to have been given it by their parents, at 71%.
Elsewhere, friends provided alcohol on 49% of occasions, while those surveyed said they had taken it from home without permission at 48%.
The study also found that middle-class children were almost twice as likely to drink alcohol compared to their less affluent peers.
The data found 13% of children aged 11 to 15 from the wealthiest third of families had consumed alcohol in the past week, compared with 7% of children from the same age group in the least wealthy third.
Andrew Misell, a director at Alcohol Change UK, has warned against children drinking with their parents – a practice he has called “European drinking” – as it is more in tune with the culture in countries like France and Italy where children are introduced to wine from an early age.
Parents – particularly those who are more affluent – may be introducing children to alcohol in the belief it emulates a more ‘European’ style of drinking, Misell told Yahoo UK.
“We’ve known for a long time that parents are the main source of alcohol for underage drinkers,” he said.
“Some parents seem to believe that it’s a good idea to introduce their children to alcohol – that it’s a normal part of social life and one they need to learn about.