15 December 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate short-term effects of publishing revised lower risk national drinking guidelines on related awareness and knowledge. To examine where drinkers heard about guidelines over the same period. DESIGN: Trend analysis of the Alcohol Toolkit Study, a monthly repeat cross-sectional national survey. SETTING: England, November 2015 to May 2016. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 11 845 adults (18+) living in private households in England. INTERVENTION: Publication of revised national drinking guidelines in January 2016 which reduced the male guideline by approximately one-third to 14 units per week. MEASUREMENTS: Whether drinkers (1) had heard of drinking guidelines (awareness), (2) stated the guideline was above, exactly or below 14 units (knowledge) and (3) reported seeing the stated guideline number of units in the last month in each of 11 locations (exposure). Sociodemographics: sex, age (18-34, 35-64, 65+), social grade (AB, C1C2, DE). Alcohol consumption derived from graduated frequency questions: low risk (
15 December 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

AIMS: To study total alcohol consumption and its correlates, with an emphasis on the direction of causality.

METHODS: The associations among total alcohol consumption, abstaining, alcohol dependence (AD) and heavy episodic drinking were compared in 29 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries in 2010.

RESULTS: Either total alcohol consumption is determined by the number of abstainers and that of alcohol dependents, or the number of alcohol dependents is determined by total alcohol consumption. The number of non-dependent heavy episodic drinkers does not play a role.

CONCLUSION: The number of alcohol dependents and abstainers seemingly determines total alcohol consumption and more efforts should be made to reduce AD.

SHORT SUMMARY: The associations between total alcohol consumption, abstaining, alcohol dependence and heavy episodic drinking were compared in 29 OECD countries in 2010. The number of non-dependent heavy episodic drinkers does not play a role. The number of alcohol dependents and abstainers seemingly determine total alcohol consumption.

15 December 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

AIM: To systematically review evidence on the influence of specific marketing components (Price, Promotion, Product attributes and Place of sale/availability) on key drinking outcomes (initiation, continuation, frequency and intensity) in young people aged 9-17.

METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, PsychINFO, CINAHL and ProQuest were searched from inception to July 2015, supplemented with searches of Google Scholar, hand searches of key journals and backward and forward citation searches of reference lists of identified papers.

RESULTS: Forty-eight papers covering 35 unique studies met inclusion criteria. Authors tended to report that greater exposure to alcohol marketing impacted on drinking initiation, continuation, frequency and intensity during adolescence. Nevertheless, 23 (66%) studies reported null results or negative associations, often in combination with positive associations, resulting in mixed findings within and across studies. Heterogeneity in study design, content and outcomes prevented estimation of effect sizes or exploration of variation between countries or age subgroups. The strength of the evidence base differed according to type of marketing exposure and drinking outcome studied, with support for an association between alcohol promotion (mainly advertising) and drinking outcomes in adolescence, whilst only two studies examined the relationship between alcohol price and the drinking behaviour of those under the age of 18.

CONCLUSION: Despite the volume of work, evidence is inconclusive in all four areas of marketing but strongest for promotional activity. Future research with standardized measures is needed to build on this work and better inform interventions and policy responses.

15 December 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

Alcohol consumption frequency and volume are known to be related to health problems among drinkers. Most of the existing literature that analyses regional variation in drinking behaviour uses measures of consumption that relate only to volume, such as 'binge drinking'. This study compares the regional association of alcohol consumption using measures of drinking frequency (daily drinking) and volume (binge drinking) using a nationally representative sample of residents using the Health Survey for England, 2011-2013. Results suggest the presence of two differentiated drinking patterns with relevant policy implications. We find that people in northern regions are more likely to binge drink, whereas people in southern regions are more likely to drink on most days. Regression analysis shows that regional variation in binge drinking remains strong when taking into account individual and neighbourhood level controls. The findings provide support for regional targeting of interventions that aim to reduce the frequency as well as volume of drinking.

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