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German teenagers drinking less alcohol: Study

A study into the drinking habits of young people has revealed a continued decrease in regular alcohol consumption among German teenagers.

German teenagers drinking less alcohol: Study
Drinking has declined among teenagers in Germany. Image: DPA

But it also showed binge drinking was on the rise among young adults.

The research was carried out to get an idea of younger people’s drinking habits, both in terms of how often they drink – and how much. 

SEE ALSO: Germany should take drinking tips from Scotland, experts insist

Under one in ten (8.7 percent) Germans aged between 12 and 17 drank alcohol at least once a week. 

This is a significant decline from previous reports. A study conducted on the same age group in 2004 showed that one in five (21.2 percent) drank at least once per week. 

The findings indicate that public awareness campaigns about the dangers of alcohol may be paying off, while they also highlight a tendency among younger generations to be more health conscious than their forebears. 

Binge drinking needs to be tackled

The news was less good for Germans aged between 18 and 25 however, with more than a third (37.8 percent) drinking ‘to intoxication’ at least once in the past month before the survey was taken. 

Marlene Mortler of the centre-right CSU, who is the Federal Government’s Drug Commissioner, told DPA that the findings were welcome, while also indicating that more needed to be done to tackle binge drinking. 

“Reaching adulthood shouldn’t mean that all of the sudden it’s alright to drink too much alcohol”, she said. 

Mortler said education campaigns focusing on a “conscious approach to life” could be used to tackle the issue. 

The study, completed by the Federal Centre for Health Education, was conducted on 7,000 young Germans throughout 2018. 

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HEALTH

Sweden records world’s first case of bird flu in a porpoise

A porpoise found stranded on a Swedish beach in June died of bird flu, the first time the virus has been detected in one of the marine mammals, Sweden's National Veterinary Institute said on Wednesday.

Sweden records world's first case of bird flu in a porpoise

“As far as we know this is the first confirmed case in the world of bird flu in a porpoise,” veterinarian Elina Thorsson said in a statement. “It is likely that the porpoise somehow came into contact with infected birds,” she said.

The young male was found stranded, alive, on a beach in western Sweden in late June. Despite efforts from the public to get it to swim out to deeper
waters, it was suffering from exhaustion and died the same evening.

The bird flu virus, H5N1, was found in several of its organs. “Contrary to seals, where illnesses caused by a flu virus have been detected multiple times, there have been only a handful of reports of flu virus in cetaceans”, Thorsson said.

The virus has also previously been detected in other mammals, including red foxes, otters, lynx and skunks, the institute said.

Europe and North America are currently seeing a vast outbreak of bird flu among wild birds.

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