Millions of responsible Australians who have made no changes to their drinking habits have now been categorised as risky drinkers, not because they’re consuming more, but by a process captured by leading anti-alcohol activists.
Drinking Guidelines from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) were recently revised from 14 standard drinks to 10 per week. Now, with a stroke of a pen, this has reclassified an additional 2.1 million adults as ‘risky drinkers’.
“Setting the new Guidelines was a totally compromised process that did not take into account the difference between men and women and personal consumption patterns, said Alcohol Beverages Australian CEO, Andrew Wilsmore.
“Risk varies from men to women and how often you choose to drink in a week. Despite their own evidence showing an every-day drinking man can have up to 18.5 drinks a week and women 14 a week, the NHMRC plucked 10 a week as their advice for all Australians.
“Australians had little faith in the new Guidelines. This just confirms their thinking.”
Under the previous guidelines 16.8% (3.86 million) of the adult population were assessed as drinking at risky levels (more than 2 drinks a day) now this has jumped this up to 26.1% (6.03 million) of the population (drinking more than 10 drinks a week).
“Australians deserve pat on the back for changing our drinking culture to one where moderation is the new norm. Per capita alcohol consumption is less now than it was 50 years ago.
“Putting anti-alcohol activists in charge of developing the new guidelines has simply redefined the problem to suit their own purposes and alarmist agenda.
“By overstating the level of risky drinking, activists are emboldened to erode the freedoms enjoyed by responsible drinkers, with their mantra of increasing prices, banning promotions, and reducing availability of beer, wine and spirits. Instead, harmful drinking continues to fall and Aussie drinkers deserve to be congratulated, not condemned.
Editorial Note: Alcohol Beverages Australia is responding to today’s release from the Australian Insititute of Health and Welfare that explores the drinking guidelines revision: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/alcohol/measuring-risky-drinking-aus-alcohol-guidelines/contents/measuring-risky-drinking
Tony Ritchie, Media and Communications Director
Ph: 0407 002 704