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alcohol health alliance uk

Alcohol and calories response to Drinkaware

Posted 23/05/11

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “While we welcome measures which encourage people to think about and reduce how much they are drinking, increasing understanding around alcohol and calories is only part of the solution.

“Research shows that almost a third (31%) of North East drinkers are consuming less alcohol than they did 12 months ago. Almost a third of these (26%) said this is due to financial reasons and the same number (26%) cited their physical health. Considerably less (9%) stated that their weight was the motivating factor.

“It is clear that we need to continue to educate people around alcohol misuse and all of its consequences. This includes raising awareness of units, recommended limits, the risk of serious illness and disease and calorie content.

“However, education alone is not enough to change drinking behaviour. The price of alcohol is a powerful motivational tool, which needs to be properly used. The Government has already acknowledged that alcohol is too cheap by banning the sale of alcohol below duty plus VAT.

Evidence shows that this would have very little impact, hitting only one in 4,000 drinks deals and failing to reduce the price of the cheapest, strongest alcohol available. Government needs to go further if it is serious about tackling the problems caused by alcohol misuse and introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol.

This would increase the price of the cheapest and strongest alcohol, which is consumed by the heaviest and youngest drinkers and causes the greatest amount of problems in terms of our health, our families, communities and the wider society.”

Research carried out by Balance reveals that half of all North Easterners support the introduction of a minimum price per unit of alcohol. More than three-quarters say they would support the measure if it reduced crime and violence and drunk and rowdy behaviour.

An important part of reducing consumption is tracking how much alcohol individuals drink. Visit www.balancenortheast.co.uk/harm to find out more, download a drinks diary and receive an information booklet.