Australians continue to drink responsibly, new stats confirm

Australians continue to drink responsibly according to an Australian Bureau of Statistics report, Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2015-16, released today, which shows only a marginal 0.4% per capita increase since 2014-15. On a per capita basis, there were 9.7 litres of pure alcohol available for consumption in 2015-16, up slightly from 9.5 litres in 2014-15.

Fergus Taylor, Executive Director of peak industry body Alcohol Beverages Australia said it is important to recognise that this result has occurred while problem consumption has been decreasing, which shows the responsible drinking messages recommended by the alcohol beverages industry are getting through and making a positive difference to the way alcohol is consumed.

“The ABS study shows the long-term decline in consumption appears to have bottomed out, but supports the major studies this year that show the vast majority of Australians are enjoying their drinks more sensibly and in moderation,” Mr Taylor said.

“Federal Government figures released in June by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed binge and underage drinking are down significantly, both longstanding positive trends for more than a decade.

A Snapshot: Australian Drinking Habits: 2007 vs 2017, a significant study on Australians’ drinking habits released in August by DrinkWise also showed increases in moderate drinking and declines in drinking to excess that are consistent with the AIHW statistics.

“Australians have had a few more beers and ciders this year than last year, but overall they deserve a pat on the back for drinking more responsibly.”

The Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2015-16 study provides estimates of consumption based on availability, containing data on the quantity of pure alcohol available for consumption from beer, wine, spirits, pre-mixed ready to drink beverages (RTDs) and cider.

Notably, these figures – which show beer contributed 39.9%, wine 37.5%, spirits & RTDs 18.8% and cider 3.8% of alcohol available for consumption – actually overestimate the true level of alcohol consumed, as adjustments cannot be made for factors such as wastage and alcohol used in cooking.

“Ensuring that positive trends such as declines in underage and binge drinking continue is an important national responsibility, and the alcohol beverages industry will continue to work with governments and local communities to maintain these trends,” Mr Taylor said.

“A combination of education, responsible service of alcohol and strict enforcement on underage sales is required to achieve this, and the industry will continue to work hard to ensure these important messages and initiatives are successful.

“The industry acknowledges that misuse of alcohol does still occur, but it is committed to continuing to target at-risk groups to change their attitudes and behaviour for the better.”

Alcohol Beverages Australia is the peak industry body created to highlight the positive social, cultural and economic contribution of alcohol beverages in Australia, and promote, explain and defend the legitimate rights of the industry and the 15 million Australians who drink responsibly.


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Correction Via Letter To Editor – Sydney Morning Herald

"The Alcohol industry is working positively and closely with FSANZ to implement energy labelling on its products to assist consumers make informed responsible choices. Any claim that the introduction of energy labelling is not supported by the alcohol industry is...

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