Children under 15 who drink alcohol could be causing themselves serious damage according to the government's Chief Medical Officer.
Sir Liam Donaldson said those under 15 should not drink, following research which showed alcohol could seriously affect brain development in the young.
He said: "We have a third of a million 11-15-year-olds on a typical weekend drinking alcohol. That's a massive number and we've got to do something about it."
Speaking on GMTV, he said the government would be issuing new advice aimed at parents to clear up any confusion surrounding the issue.
Sir Donaldson added: "The information we got from surveying parents was that actually they are quite confused about the medical and health implications of children drinking alcohol.
"We're trying to get the message across that children aged under 15 are still developing, their brains are developing, and drinking alcohol can do some quite serious damage."
Research shows most young people in the UK will have drunk alcohol by the time they are 15, with one in five 13-year-olds saying they drink at least every week. Among 15-year-olds that figure doubles.
The amount children drink has also risen since 1990.
Copyright © Press Association 2009
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