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alcohol health alliance uk
Karen Slater

Karen Slater

 

No alcohol during pregnancy is safestů.warning for FASD Day

Balance is reminding North East families about the risks of drinking during pregnancy for International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Day on 9 Sept.

It comes after a year which has seen millions more adults including parents with young children drinking at high-risk levels. (1)

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can raise the risk of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), a lifelong condition caused by exposure to alcohol in pregnancy, which can cause a range of physical, mental and behavioural problems for children.

Alcohol companies have been accused of fuelling drinking rates among women (2) through female-focused advertising linking alcohol with friendships and empowerment. And research has found alcohol industry information is less likely than independent health websites to provide information on FASD or to advise that no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. (3)

Susan Taylor, Head of Alcohol Policy for Fresh and Balance, said: “Alcohol affects the lives of so many families in local communities and yet there is still such low awareness of FASD. It is also a concern that this last 18 months have seen such high levels of alcohol consumption.

“Pregnancy can be a confusing and scary time and we know there are lots of myths out there around drinking and pregnancy. The official advice from the NHS and Chief Medical Officer is that the safest option when you’re expecting or trying to conceive is to avoid alcohol altogether.

“But we need to look at the activities of alcohol companies which have massive budgets to spend on unrelenting promotion of Prosecco, glamorous looking gins and skinny seltzers, which we know particularly appeal to women.

“This has been a terrible year for many people which has resulted in millions of people drinking more than they would like to. More needs to be done to support women who wish to reduce their drinking – the Government should take measures to restrict the constant promotion of alcohol and ensure that alcohol products display appropriate health labelling, including warnings about the risks of drinking during pregnancy.”

Read more here.