Responding to a new study on global alcohol consumption targets in the Lancet, Patricia Callan, director of the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) said, "The consumption data for Ireland referenced in this Lancet report is incorrect. According to the latest figures from the CSO and the Revenue Commissioners, the average per adult consumption was 11.094 litres of pure alcohol (LPA) in Ireland in 2018. It increased marginally by 0.1% from 2017, where it stood at 11.080 LPA. The Lancet report states that it was 13.2 litres in 2017.
"In recent years, consumption has remained relatively static, hovering at approximately 11LPA since 2012. This is despite an improving economy and population growth.
"And the longer-term trend shows that since 2001, the average per adult alcohol consumption has fallen by 23.3% in Ireland.
"Separate figures from the World Health Organisation in relation to underage drinking show that alcohol consumption among teenagers has also dramatically declined. The prevalence of weekly alcohol consumption by adolescents in Ireland fell by 8.6% between 2002 and 2014, from 12.7% to 4.1%. This is well below the 12.9% average in the European region."
Committed To Tackling Alcohol Misuse
Callan continued, "While these are positive indications that we are moving in the right direction, we firmly believe that alcohol misuse and underage drinking should never happen, and are fully committed to tackling these issues.
"There is a need for greater awareness of the HSE’s alcohol guidelines to prevent misuse. A binge is defined by the HSE as six or more standard drinks in one session, which is the equivalent of three or more pints of beer.
"Examples of a standard drink include a pub measure of spirits (35.5ml), a small glass of wine (12.5% volume) and half pint of normal beer
"Research from Drink Aware shows that less than 3% of Irish adults can correctly identify the HSE low-risk guidelines for alcohol consumption. As such, there is a need for education measures and for the government to put a focus on increasing awareness of these guidelines.
"We will continue to work as an industry and with relevant stakeholders to tackle alcohol misuse and underage drinking, as we have always done."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.