Calls to curb hazardous drinking in parents

A University of Canterbury health expert says New Zealand needs to reduce the prevalence of Pacific Island children exposed to parental drinking.

A survey has found more than 14 per cent of parents with children at least two years old were harmful drinkers.

Professor Philip Schluter says the study found Pacific parents reduced alcohol during the pregnancy period and are keen to maintain a lower level of alcohol consumption.

"Given that this is a good time when mothers and fathers both intersect with our healthcare system, it might be an appropriate time to develop alcohol interventions, and ensure they are picked up by Pacific people."

Professor Schluter says the study found parents reduce alcohol during the pregnancy period, but if they are left without intervention then they rapidly increase alcohol consumption to pre-pregnancy level.

"So if we can intervene during that pregnancy, or just after the period, and have strategies around that, perhaps we'll be able to reduce the number of children exposed to parents with hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption."

He says Pacific Island people are largely being ignored in many health promotion and intervention initiatives.

- Newstalk ZB

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