In April-May 2020 NOFAS-UK (now the National Organisation for FASD) engaged OnePoll to conduct two surveys to test awareness of the risks of alcohol in pregnancy and to see if the general population knows the national scientific guidance.
OnePoll polled 2000 18-25 year olds across the UK. The results showed that:
- 26% could not identify the current Chief Medical Officers’ guidance that the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all if pregnant or if you could become pregnant.
- 80% said if they or a loved one (e.g. a sister or friend) were pregnant, that having the occasional drink of alcohol would not be ok. However, their understanding of WHY this is important is limited.
- Only 17% understood that alcohol can cause the most long-term harm to the baby when compared with other substances such as heroin, crack cocaine and smoking.
- Only 22% knew that the acronym FASD stands for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
- 49% are getting information about these issues from social media, while only 40% are getting if from a teacher and only 36% from a doctor, midwife or nurse.
In addition, OnePoll conducted a one-question survey for us of 2000 nationally representative adults to see if they could recognise the CMO guidance. The good news is that awareness has improved over the same question asked last year.
- 82% of adults (all ages) identified the CMO guidance in April 2020. When broken down by age, this poll supported the above finding with 75% of 18-24 year olds who identified the CMO guidance.
- 76% of adults (all ages) identified the CMO guidance in April 2019. 67% of 18-24 year olds identified the CMO guidance in this poll, so there has been some improvement in the past year. One significant change in the year since is that there has been a push in social media by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s #Drymester campaign which might explain this, although that is supposition and wasn’t tested in our polling.
For more information on these polls or NOFAS-UK, please click here.
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The opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the FASD Prevention Conversation Project, its stakeholders, or funders.