There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Daily Mail comments section on Friday about this.
Parents who give their child the occasional glass of wine with their meal could be turning them into binge drinkers, scientists have warned.
Growing numbers of middle class parents are following the example of French families and allowing their offspring to drink wine with their meals, in the belief it will teach them to drink responsibly.
But now a study has found children who are introduced to alcohol by their parents are more likely to grow into problem drinkers later in life.
Can't say I was too surprised. It's just another step along the hearts and flowers and pretty butterflies adorned avenue of alcohol denormalisation.
It is led by the World Health Organisation, who in their ultimate self-delared wisdom, judged a long time ago that alcohol is intrinsically evil and must be beaten with a big pointy stick. They produce 'Framework' policies on a number of things they don't like, and their stated aim with regard to alcohol and children [pdf] is.
All children and adolescents have the right to grow up in an environment protected from the negative consequences of alcohol consumption and, to the extent possible, from the promotion of alcoholic beverages.
Very laudable, except that there are no grey areas in their view of life. Merely black and white - alcohol bad, temperance good. Quality of parenting is not taken into account, neither are any other considerations.
Keeping children alcohol free and delaying the onset of drinking are safer.
The WHO dole out billions in research grants, and if you come up with the correct results, you are very likely to be given another gig. This particular study was performed by Washington University in Missuori. On US subjects? Not on your nelly. For some reason they chose twins from Australia. Sniffy? I should coco.
And if someone - I dunno, maybe a tedious saggy-arsed prodnose, for example - wants a job with the WHO ...
If, as seems likely, [Liam Donaldson] is moved out of Richmond House next year, a plum job awaits him at the World Health Organisation. In which case it would be a fitting ending for a man who thinks in terms of populations. The most far-reaching of public servants would at last get to serve the most far-reaching of publics.
... what should he be advocating?
Children under the age of 15 should not be allowed to drink alcohol under new official guidelines that will even rule out a a glass of wine at dinner with parents. The controversial advice, expected from the Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson, today, is set to spark fierce debate on the best way to encourage sensible drinking.
It's all rather predictable, isn't it?
And don't think that with Donaldson out of the picture, post-GE 2010, that this will just be quietly dropped. The Tories have James Brokenshire, a pliant berk who is already making noises of which the WHO would be most appreciative.
Not very long till five is changed to fifteen in this advice on the government's web-site, methinks.
Under five years old
It is illegal to give an alcoholic drink to a child under five except under medical supervision in an emergency.
The Mail readership pointing out that French kids are routinely exposed to the nation's viniculture at an early age, with negligible negative effects, is immaterial. The WHO don't want Britain aping France and being mature about alcohol. They will instead, eventually, pressure France to fall into line once other nations have been browbeaten into righteous compliance.
As a footnote. Guess how many people worldwide voted for the apppointment of World Health Organisation policy-makers. Go on, have a stab.