Research reveals gap in parenting approaches to responsible drinking Back to news

21st September 2012

Research reveals gap in parenting approaches to responsible drinking

– Parents encouraged to talk with children at early age –

  • London dads teach their kids about alcohol up to seven years before dads in the North East and South East
  • Most dads raise the subject when their children are 11-12 years old, before they reach their teens

LONDON, 21 September 2012: Most fathers based in London are broaching the subject of alcohol and responsible drinking with their children earlier than other dads across the UK, according to poll results released today1. Over a quarter of dads (27%) in the capital start the conversation when their children are between 7 and 8 years old – up to seven years earlier than their peers in the North East and South East of England.

Regional mapping

New research indicates that dads across theUKpick different ages to discuss alcohol and responsible drinking with their children, with variations according to region:

  • The national average shows that most dads across the nation raise the subject when their children are 11-12 years old
  • Most dads in the North East (32%) and South East (25%) are leaving it later, typically waiting until their children are between 13 and 14 years to start the conversation
  • Northern Irish dads tend to leave it later – with half waiting until their children are in their teens
  • In Scotland, most dads opt to discuss responsible drinking early – over a quarter of Scottish (26%) dads start talking to their children from the age of nine
  • In the West Midlands, most children (46%) can expect to have the conversation between 9 and 12
  • In Wales fathers are divided – over a quarter (28%) broach the topic when their children are between 9 and 10 years old, while one in five wait until their kids are almost 16
  • London and Scotland are the only two UK regions in which most dads kick off conversations with children of ten and under
  • This is before their peers in Yorkshire and the Humber,East Anglia, East Midlands, the North Westand South West who fall in line with the national average – typically raising the subject with their 11-12 year olds.

The poll of 1,000 dads with children under 18 was conducted by the world’s largest brewer, AB InBevUK, to coincide with the company’s annual Global Be(er) Responsible Day. On this day, tens of thousands of AB InBev employees across the globe work together to highlight the importance of responsible drinking.

Last year AB InBev UKconducted a similar survey of mums via the UK’s biggest website for parents, Mumsnet2. That poll showed that the majority of mums nationwide are having conversations about alcohol and responsible drinking earlier than their male counterparts. More than half (55%) of mums had first spoken to their child when they were between 7 and 10 years old, compared with just over a third of dads (36%).

Dads are a key influence 

The research into attitudes of theUK’s dads also showed they are concerned about responsible drinking among children:

  • 64% feel young people are under a lot of peer pressure to start drinking alcohol underage
  • 67% of fathers worry how many young people drink alcohol underage
  • More than two thirds of dads (69%) feel it is important to have conversations about responsible drinking before their children turn 18
  • Aside from friends and peers, dads think that parents have the most influence over their kids

Despite that, most dads are going it alone

Most dads are not taking advice from their friends, other parents or professionals about how to educate their kids on alcohol:

  • Two thirds of dads haven’t sought advice or support from other parents
  • Less than one in ten have used information provided by a school or GP

Inge Plochaet, President AB InBev UK, said:

“As the leading global brewer, we want to help shape a culture of responsible drinking in the UK – it’s part of our ambition to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World. That’s why we have signed up to the UK Responsibility Deal and made formal commitments to the EU Alcohol and Health Forum.  However, when it comes to young people, research shows that it’s parents who have the real influence. Our Family Talk programme – which we launched in the UK this time last year – offers mums and dads a place to share their experience and advice on talking with their children about alcohol. As a mother of two sons myself I know that giving parents access to this kind of guidance is so important.”

Commenting on the research Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet, added:

“Many people don’t realise that Mumsnet is a forum for dads as well as mums. But we know it’s not just mums who need to have tough conversations with their kids. This research reinforces the fact that, as parents, we all make personal choices about how and when to raise difficult subjects with our children. That’s why we’ve worked with AB InBev UK to provide practical tips on how to have honest, realistic conversations with children about responsible drinking.”

Siobhan McCann, Head of Campaigns and Communications at alcohol education charity Drinkaware, said:

“When it comes to alcohol, the more information your child has, and the earlier they get it, the better.  Encouraging parents to talk to their children about alcohol and delaying the age of their first drink is essential to tackling the UK’s drinking culture. 

Children as young as seven are aware of alcohol and its effects, so it’s important that parents talk to them about alcohol in their pre-teens. provides tips and advice on talking to children about alcohol. Along with Family Talk UK, Drinkaware supports parents in what can be a tricky issue.”  

For parents looking for advice on how to talk with their kids about alcohol, ABInBev created Family Talk UK. Available at, the page features tips and videos to help parents start the conversation about alcohol and maintain an ongoing dialogue.

–       ENDS –


1 – OnePoll – commissioned by AB InBevUK – interviewed 1,000 dads in the UK with children under 18 between the 31st August and 6th September 2012.
2 – Mumsnet – commissioned by AB InBevUK – interviewed 1001 mums in theUK between 1 August and 8 September 2011.


For more information, please contact:

Hannah Robinson
T: 0207 842 0136

Ben Wicks
T: 0207 842 0122

Notes to Editors

  • On 21 September 2012, AB InBev celebrates its third annual Global Be(er) Responsible Day, which brings to life its commitment to promoting responsible drinking by encouraging employees and partners to show how we can all act as responsibility ambassadors every day.
  • As part of its commitment to promoting responsible drinking, in 2011 AB InBev announced a challenging set of Global Responsible Drinking Goals. AB InBev aims to reach these goals, which will be independently audited, by the end of 2014. They are:
    • Reach at least 100 million adults with programs developed by subject matter experts that help parents talk with their children about underage drinking;
    • Provide ID-checking materials and other educational information to at least half-a-million bars, clubs, restaurants and grocery stores to help them prevent sales to minors;
    • Provide training on responsible alcohol beverage sales to at least
      1 million bartenders, waiters, grocery store clerks and others who serve and sell alcohol;
    • Reach at least half-a-billion legal-age consumers to increase awareness of the importance of using a designated driver or safe-ride home;
    • Invest at least 300 million USD (nearly £186 million) in advertising and programs to help remind and educate consumers about the importance of responsible drinking; and
    • Celebrate Global Be(er) Responsible Day annually to promote the importance of responsible drinking among our employees, retail customers and consumers.
    • In the past three decades, the company and its wholesalers have invested more than £575 million in advertising and community-based programs to promote responsible drinking and prevent underage drinking and drink driving.
    • To find out more about AB InBev’s work to promote responsible drinking visit:

About Anheuser-Busch InBev

Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with an American Depositary Receipt secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD). It is the leading global brewer and one of the world’s top five consumer products companies. Beer, the original social network, has been bringing people together for thousands of years and our portfolio of well over 200 beer brands continues to forge strong connections with consumers. We invest the majority of our brand-building resources on our Focus Brands – those with the greatest growth potential such as global brands Budweiser®, Stella Artois® and Beck‘s®, alongside Leffe®, Hoegaarden®, Bud Light®, Skol®, Brahma®, Antarctica®, Quilmes®, Michelob Ultra®, Harbin®, Sedrin®, Klinskoye®, SibirskayaKorona®, Chernigivske®, Hasseröder® and Jupiler®. In addition, the company owns a 50 percent equity interest in the operating subsidiary of GrupoModelo, Mexico’s leading brewer and owner of the global Corona® brand. AB InBev‘s dedication to heritage and quality originates from the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium dating back to 1366 and the pioneering spirit of the Anheuser & Co brewery, with origins in St. Louis, USA since 1852. Geographically diversified with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, AB InBev leverages the collective strengths of its approximately 116,000 employees based in operations in 23 countries worldwide. In 2011, AB InBev realized 39.0 billion US dollar revenue. The company strives to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World. For more information, please visit:

About Mumsnet

Mumsnet is the UK’s busiest network for parents, with over 40 million page views and 5.7 million visits per month. It has 200 local sites, as well as a network of 1,800 bloggers. It regularly campaigns on issues such as support for families of children with SEN, improvements in miscarriage care and freedom of speech on the internet.

©2017, AB InBev UK Limited. All rights reserved.