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Young adults adopt a more conservative drinking attitude than their elders

16 November 2012

  • 45-54 age group think a higher consumption of alcoholic units is acceptable
  • Respondents in Scotland and the North East are the most likely to find a high level reasonable

London, [16th November 2012] – Research conducted by Canadean Consumer shows that while younger people are more likely to consume alcoholic spirits, it is the 45-54 age group who think that a higher consumption of units is acceptable.
In particular, drinkers in Scotland and the North East were the most likely to believe a higher number of units were within acceptable limits.

A survey of 1,095 UK spirit consumers found that when asked about the number of units they felt would be acceptable to consume on a weekend night out, the average amount across all age groups (and seven different types of spirits) was 3.4 units. In terms of actual spirit choice, the most popular spirit among the 16-24 age group was vodka, with 83% of this age group consuming it, and the least popular was brandy at 38%.

However, whist the likelihood of consumption amongst this age group is higher, they are more inclined to adhere to the government’s guidelines on recommended unit levels. Canadean Consumer’s research shows that within this age group, the average number of units that would be deemed acceptable to consume on a weekend night out was slightly above the overall average at 3.5 units, but not as high as the response from the 45-54 age group at 3.8 units.

From a UK perspective, drinkers in Wales and East England found the least number of units acceptable (2.7), while those in Scotland and the North East were the highest at 3.7 units.

Emma Herbert, Research Manager at Canadean Consumer, states: “Despite the continued campaigns targeting young people about the dangers of alcohol, it appears that other age groups would benefit from more education as to acceptable limits that are less damaging to their health. The 2012 ONS report ‘Statistics on Alcohol’ reported similar findings; the levels of alcohol consumption on a weekly basis for men and women were higher in the 45-54 age group, exceeding recommended weekly levels.”

“The NHS has also reported that there are more alcohol related hospital admissions in the North East than any other part of the country, while Health Scotland has reported that since the early 1980s alcohol-related hospital admissions have quadrupled, death rates have nearly tripled, and the cost of alcohol misuse to the Scottish economy has been put at around £3.56 billion per year.”

Young adults adopt a more conservative drinking attitude than their elders

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