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Survey finds many young adults think it’s OK to drink alcohol while pregnant

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London — More than 1 out of 4 young adults don’t know pregnant women shouldn’t drink alcohol, results of a recent survey out of the United Kingdom show.

Commissioned by the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome-UK, marketing research company OnePoll in April and May surveyed 2,000 people between the ages of 18 to 25 across the UK. Around 26% of the respondents couldn’t identify the safest way to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: pregnant women, or those who might become pregnant, abstaining from alcohol.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FASDs are a group of conditions that can develop in a person whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical, behavior and learning problems. Often, a person with an FASD has a combination of these problems.

About 1 out of 5 respondents said it’s OK if they, a friend or relative had an “occasional” drink while pregnant. However, among those who said an occasional drink was not OK, “their understanding of why this is important is limited,” the researchers said in a June 4 press release. For example, only 17% understood that alcohol can cause the most long-term harm when compared with other substances such as heroin, crack cocaine and tobacco/nicotine.

Additionally, nearly half said they got their information on the subject from social media, while 40% got it from a teacher and 36% from a medical professional.

“There is no room for complacency as this means a significant proportion of the population still has not taken on board the message that it’s safest to avoid alcohol during pregnancy,” the organization states.

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