Missing from the ANU media release, but found buried in the report[1] is a very different story about Australians drinking during the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Andrew Wilsmore, Chief Executive Officer for Alcohol Beverages Australia said today “The ANU survey results show that more Australians have reduced their drinking (27%) than those who have increased (20.2%).

“And the change is more pronounced among those who have reduced their drinking, with 12% of them saying that it decreased by a little, and 15.0 per cent saying it decreased by a lot.

“Of those whose drinking increased, just 3.5% said it had increased by a lot and 16.8% saying it increased by a little. For nearly half of those drinking more (45.8%), the increase had only been 1-2 standard drinks in a week.

“For males, 23.7 per cent said their alcohol consumption had decreased, and 15.5 per cent of the total sample said their alcohol consumption increased.

“For females, 21.2 per cent said their alcohol consumption had decreased, compared to 18.1 per cent of the sample who said their consumption had increased”, Mr Wilsmore said.

As the ANU report states “this provides reasonably strong evidence that people do not feel that their alcohol consumption has increased since the spread of COVID-19”.

And despite the headline of the ANU’s own media release, their report warns “This final point highlights the need to ask balanced questions, rather than just asking for changes in one direction, as has been reported in the media from other surveys during the COVID-19 pandemic”

Ends.

 

Media inquiries:

Andrew Wilsmore, 0403 570 407

[1] https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/docs/2020/6/Alcohol_consumption_during_the_COVID-19_period.pdf

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