Alcohol consumption in Ireland is continuing to fall in line with long-term trends over the last 15 years, according to research by DCU Economist, Tony Foley.
In his paper, Estimate of Alcohol Consumption per Adult in 2015, Foley examined CSO Population and Migration Estimates and the Revenue Commissioners’ alcohol clearances, and found that alcohol consumption was down 0.7% between 2014 and 2015, consistent with a long-term trend of decline in alcohol consumption since 2001.
Foley commented, "The level and trend in average alcohol consumption are important elements in public policy evaluation and design."
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He found that average alcohol consumption decreased by 0.7% in 2015 compared with 2014, from 11.086 Litres of Pure Alcohol Per Adult (lpa) to 11.013 lpa.
He added that, "It is useful to put the Irish figure into an international perspective. The latest OECD Health Statistics reports an OECD average alcohol consumption for 2013 or latest year of 8.8lpa, Ireland in this database is measured as 10.6lpa."
He explained that the OECD average has been identified as a policy target for Ireland, adding however, that this is not necessarily appropriate as the database includes countries with a very different culture towards drinking, such as Turkey and Israel, where consumption is typically very low.
"The non EU countries in the database have an average consumption of 7.1 lpa. The 21 EU members included in the OECD database have an average consumption of 9.9 compared to the 10.6 recorded in the database for Ireland," he explained.
"Ireland is not widely out of line with this. These figures exclude unrecorded consumption, which can be relatively high in some countries."
The European countries that have a higher level of alcohol consumption than Ireland include France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia and Poland.
Maggie Timoney, Chair of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland and Chief Executive of Heineken Ireland commented on the report’s findings, "When framing public policy issues pertaining to alcohol, it is important that we rely on an appropriate fact base.
"The drinks industry is committed to working with the Government in the context of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill to find workable and effective solutions to address misuse."
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.