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Majority Of Alcohol-Industry Revenues Come From High-Risk Drinkers

by Shirley Johanna on January 25, 2016 at 3:10 PM
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Majority Of Alcohol-Industry Revenues Come From High-Risk Drinkers

The alcohol industry makes 60 percent of its revenue from people whose consumption is labeled as "hazardous and harmful" to their health, according to a new report.

An ongoing national health survey in the UK found that more than two-thirds of alcohol sales are to people at risk of either damaging their health or potentially dying from their alcohol intake.


The research conducted by Southampton University professor Nick Sheron showed that a majority of alcohol sales go to high-risk drinkers.

"We looked at data from the Health Survey for England and ... found that in terms of the total alcohol consumed within that survey, 69% was consumed by hazardous and harmful drinkers together," said Sheron.

About 38 percent of alcohol is consumed by hazardous or increasing risk drinkers who exceeded the old guidelines of 14 units a week for women and 21 units a week for men through bingeing or regular drinking.

Men who consumed more than 50 units a week and women who consumed more than 35 units a week were classed as being addicted. About 69 percent drinkers were addicted to alcohol. Such alcoholics are at increased risk of developing cirrhosis and cancer. Similar trends were observed in an ongoing research by the University of Sheffield in alcohol sales in 2013.

Based on the figures for the year 2013, alcohol sales in the UK were worth 45.5 billion, meaning 14.4 billion in sales came from risky drinkers, while 9.3 billion came from harmful drinkers, equaling 23.7 billion.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman of the AHA, said, "There was 'no doubt' that the drinks industry relied 'on excessive drinking to drive its profits' and suggested introducing a minimum unit price (MUP) to target high-strength drinks."Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said they opposed the introduction of an MUP because it would 'disproportionately impact responsible drinkers'.

Source: Medindia
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