Netflix and Amazon shows likely to promote alcohol consumption among young people
Content analysis of films released by Amazon Prime and Netflix found that alcohol imagery appeared in 42% of all intervals recorded, markedly higher than the appearance of both tobacco (27%) and high fat, sugar and salt food (35%) – and unrelated to film age classification.
Clearly, current regulations are failing to stop or reduce harmful levels of exposure on VOD services. Considering the extensive evidence that exposure to this type of content leads young people to drink at an earlier age and consume more, this research confirms the need to ensure children, young and vulnerable people are better protected from the bombardment of alcohol imagery in film and television through stricter regulations.
Protecting the population from alcohol harm in Ireland
Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI) has published its Alcohol Market Review 2022, examining the scale of the alcohol industry in Ireland.
The findings reveal market revenues of €5.5bn in 2021, monopolised by just a handful of companies. Overall, €116 million was spent on alcohol marketing last year, while the cost of alcohol harm is estimated to be €1.9 billion – 11% of the total health budget.
Worryingly, industry support from the state stood at €115 million over the past 10 years, provided through subsidies and preferential aid. AAI CEO Sheila Gilheany commented: ‘It cannot be acceptable that such a highly profitable industry, whose products inflict such harm, bears so little of the cost. Our review urges people – but in particular officeholders and policymakers – to reassess the reputation and obstructive nature of an industry who, aided by the state, relentlessly promotes its product.’
The AAI has also been instrumental in the Irish government’s draft alcohol labelling regulations, which are currently undergoing the EU process of scrutiny. Please support Alcohol Action Ireland and protect consumers’ #RightToKnow by submitting a response before 22 September. You can contact Sheila Gilheany (Sheila.firstname.lastname@example.org) for a template response and guidance on the submission process.
2022 MCA Symposium on Alcohol & Health
The next 2022 Medical Council on Alcohol (MCA) symposium is taking place on 16 November and will focus on the theme of alcohol and health, featuring a programme of world-class speakers. Meet two of them here:
- Dr Ewan Forrest will be looking at how we can reduce deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, paying particular attention to public health measures, early recognition of alcohol use disorder, early detection of fibrotic liver disease, management of alcohol-related hepatitis, effective hospital treatment of decompensated ArLD and prevention of complications in chronic ArLD.
- Dr Elena Dimova will present on the findings of a qualitative study that explored the experiences of Minimum Unit Pricing among people experiencing homelessness and street drinking, and the support services that work with them in Scotland.
You can book your ticket here!
Alcohol and cancer risks: A guide for health professionals
SHAAP has just published an updated version of its Alcohol and cancer risks: a guide for health professionals. This updates previous guidance from SHAAP to summarise for health professionals the links between alcohol consumption and cancers. The guide uses the latest data so that health professionals can use opportunities in their work to intervene to reduce risks.
Love your Liver campaign at the Labour Party conference
British Liver Trust will host their Love your Liver unit at the Labour Party conference to provide free liver health screening and scans to MPs and raise public awareness of the risk factors for liver disease including alcohol intake. The event will take place between 10am – 4pm on Tuesday 27 September at Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AF (outside the Martin Luther King Museum).
Tackling stigma in action: visibility, education and language
8 November, 9.30am
AHA parliamentary reception
Alcohol Health Alliance
16 November, 3–5pm
More information to follow
MCA annual symposium on alcohol and health
Medical Council on Alcohol
Public health team efforts to reduce alcohol harms at local authority level: New insights from ExILEnS and CICA research on licensing and community-led approaches
ExILEnS and CICA, University of Stirling
More information to follow
Meet the Members
Every month, we speak to a member of the AHA to find out more about what they do and how their organisation is working to end alcohol harm.
Today we meet Sue Taylor, head of alcohol policy at Balance, who has been with the programme since it launched in 2009.
How does your organisation help to reduce alcohol harm?
Balance is commissioned by local authority public health teams in seven localities in the north east of England. We take an evidence-based approach to alcohol harm reduction and work with partners to run mass media campaigns that raise awareness of the harms associated with alcohol; liaise with local, national and international colleagues to advocate for evidence-based measures to influence the price, promotion and availability of alcohol; and promote innovative and joined up approaches within our commissioning localities.
What inspires you most in your job?
As someone from the north east, I am inspired by the challenge of making the region a better place for people to live. Our area suffers from some of the greatest alcohol-related harms and health inequalities, so we work in a difficult environment. However, the commitment of partners across the system to make a difference and improve people’s lives is hugely inspiring. I genuinely believe that by working together, we will reduce alcohol harms and ensure that the north east is a happier, healthier place for our children to grow up.
What change do you think would make the biggest difference in reducing alcohol harm?
I believe that the biggest step in reducing alcohol harm would be to denormalise alcohol, as colleagues have done with tobacco. This means making alcohol less affordable, available and desirable. This requires a positive and proactive government, committed to following the evidence-base and working independently from the alcohol industry.