While more than 90% of parents with children aged 5-17 say it is important to talk with children about drinking, significantly fewer have actually initiated the conversation, according to a new survey.
The survey showed that there was about a 10% difference between the number of parents who agreed that it was important and those who had actually initiated a conversation about alcohol.
The survey conducted by the research firm Ipsos on behalf of Anheuser-Busch InBev included parents from 11 countries around the globe. The main reason for not discussing alcohol was that parents felt that their child was too young.
An average adult (aged 15+ years) in the EU consumes 12.5 litres of pure alcohol or nearly three drinks a day, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its 2012 report 'Alcohol in the European Union – Consumption, harm and policy approaches'.
This is more than double the world average.
Harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption is the third largest risk factor for ill health in the EU, responsible for 195,000 deaths each year and accounting for 12% of male and 2% of female premature mortality, according to the EU's 2009 first progress report on the implementation of the EU's alcohol strategy.
In the autumn , the Commission will publish a new strategy and recommendation on alcohol consumption and alcohol harm that is likely to build upon previous pillars such as drinking-and-driving, binge-drinking among youngsters and drinking during pregnancy.
Carlos Brito, the chief executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said that research has for a long time shown that parents are the most important influence on a young person's attitudes toward drinking.
The findings in the new survey builds upon this insight and indicates that parents feel they need support in having these conversations with their children, Brito added.