Alcohol is one of the world’s top priority public health areas and one of the main risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Even though only half the world’s population drinks alcohol, it is the world’s fifth leading cause of ill health and premature death. In western Europe it is the sixth leading risk factor and in eastern Europe it is the number one risk factor.
Contrary to popular opinion, only 10% of US adults who drink too much are alcoholics, according to a federal study released this week, a finding that could have implications for reducing consumption of beer, wine and liquor.
While many people think that most, if not all, heavy drinkers are alcoholics, medical specialists have long suspected that belief is incorrect, said Robert Brewer, an author of a study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that analyzed self-reported data from 138,100 US adults.
As alcoholic liver disease rises, particularly in younger people, fewer than one in 10 college students said they would curb their drinking for the good of their health.
However, students are twice as likely to reduce their drinking because of the cost — one in five said price would influence their consumption.
The survey of first year UCC students was discussed at the Irish Society of Gastroenterology’s (ISG) annual winter meeting in Dublin. The ISG has urged the introduction of legislation aimed at curbing excessive drink consumption.
Almost half of the alcohol sold in Ireland is being sold at “close to or below cost price”, publicans have claimed.
The issue was raised in an Oireachtas Justice Committee with representatives of the Vintners Association of Ireland (VFI) and the National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA).
VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben told the committee that 60pc of the alcohol consumed in Ireland is now sold in the off-premises trade – a complete reversal of the figures since 1999. He said supermarkets make up the majority of this trade, adding that 42pc of the alcohol consumed in Ireland is being sold “close to or below cost price”.
If you’re ever wondering what happened to Arthur’s Day this year, look no farther than Kildare Street in Dublin to discover who killed off Guinness’s promotion.
The campaign against the excessive drinking that was a feature of the event had its headquarters not among the politicians working out of Kildare Street, but down the road at No 6, the headquarters of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.