Parents could be storing up problems for their children by introducing them to alcohol too young and ordering takeaways too often, researchers warn.
Two universities found that one in six parents gives their children alcohol by the age of 14, when their body and brain are not yet fully developed.
Many parents may believe they are acting responsibly – but that’s not backed up by research, experts said.
Regular takeaways were a risk to the heart, a separate study said.
A team of researchers from St George’s, University of London, surveyed nearly 2,000 nine and 10-year-olds on their diets and found that one in four ate takeaways at least once a week.
This group had higher body fat composition from consuming too many calories, and lower levels of vitamins and minerals than children who ate food cooked at home.
Continuing on this kind of diet could increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems later in life, the research team warned, saying takeaways should be “actively discouraged”.
When it comes to giving adolescents a taste of alcohol, well-educated parents of white children are the main culprits, research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health suggests.
But very few ethnic minority parents said they allowed early drinking – only 2%.
– Philippa Roxby
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