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A Third of 11-Year-Olds in Milan, Italy Have Drinking Problems!

Sure, teenagers everywhere try to sneak in a beer or two. It's practically a rite of passage, but the city of Milan, Italy is cracking down on teenage drinking because they have a bad problem of underage drinking.

How bad? Let's put it this way: a third of 11-year-olds in the city have alcohol-related problems!

... the authorities are deeply concerned about the increase in consumption of alcohol by children as young as 11 in the country's industrial and financial capital.

So as an experiment, supplying alcohol - either wine or spirits - to youths under the age of 16 in bars, restaurants, pizza shops and liquor stores will be banned. [...]

Some people are pessimistic that the city-wide ban will ever work:

A national law banning the sale of alcohol to under-16s is only loosely enforced, as Italian families are used to sometimes giving young children a teaspoon of wine as a family party treat.

In past centuries, Italian children would sometimes even be given wine to drink in preference to water which was often polluted.

Link


"In past centuries, Italian children would sometimes even be given wine to drink in preference to water which was often polluted."

it's called 'give them juices or soft drinks'!
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I question the veracity of this...are you sure they don't simply mean that 11 year olds have *had* alcohol?

When I lived in Italy for a year, kids frequently had watered down wine with a meal - but I *never* saw a drunk little kid - and I only saw some teenagers drunk once.

In general, being drunk - as in, staggering through the streets, having a hangover the next morning - is seen as somewhat classless in Italy. As a result I almost never saw adults in that sort of state - and certainly no little kids.

Just my two cents.
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I just don't see how a nation that has been giving kids alcohol for millenia has suddenly had abuse problems. What made the 11 year olds of today so much different than those of only 40 years ago?
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It's so cute how we judge other cultures and times by our own politically-correct standards.

Might I suggest that in time, the future finger of judgement will come to point at you?
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"Underage" drinking is tolerated in a lot of places, but that hasn't ever caused an epidemic of "underage" alcoholism. There's probably two issues at hand in Milan: bad research and bad parenting. Of course, the latter isn't just an issue of spoiling children; being too strict and critical is also a problem.
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@tt,

Note the "in past centuries" part. Refrigeration, pasteurization, and related technologies are fairly recent innovations. In past centuries, juice would quickly become wine all by itself.

Smells like a moral panic to me and moral panics are usually a simple way to grab power (or distract people so you can grab more power). I wonder if these "alcohol related problems" are anything like all the Americans in addiction programs for marijuana.
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Oh c'mon, the title of the post is simply ridiculous and offensive!!! Maybe you can say that people of that age already tried alcohol, but not that they have drinking problems... that is just plain silly. Please DO pay attention to what you write!
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