AHA response to analysis of women’s drinking patterns

25 October 2016: Responding to the publication in the BMJ of analysis which found that women are catching up with men in terms of alcohol consumption and harm, Professor Gilmore, chair of the AHA, commented:

“We know that historically men have tended to drink more than women, but that in recent years consumption among women has begun to ‘catch up’ to levels found among men.

This has happened as the drinks industry has marketed products specifically designed to appeal to women. At the same time, more alcohol is now being bought in supermarkets, where prices are much cheaper, compared with pubs, bars and restaurants.

As consumption among women rises, the associated harms rise. To tackle these harms, we need marketing restrictions along with measures which increase the price of the cheapest, strongest drinks found in our supermarkets: these measures would be the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol, as well as the reintroduction of the alcohol duty escalator.

Finally, the public need to be informed of the health impacts of alcohol, in order to make informed choices about their drinking. This means mandatory labelling of all alcoholic products, and media campaigns developed by government.”