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Delhi Wine Club
Study: Richer and Older Brits Drink More

Posted: Tuesday, 21 December 2010 11:34

Study: Richer and Older Brits Drink More

The annual Health Survey for England has released a study the results of which might be difficult to digest by the Indian alcohol consumers: more affluent professionals as also older Brits  exceed the recommended daily levels of alcohol consumption than those earning less, presumably as they can financially afford to drink more, with many finishing off a bottle of wine a night.

Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern involved in the survey stated, "People on higher incomes have always drunk more than lower-income groups, as they can afford more alcohol.”However, harmful consumption of alcohol has become a common feature of all economic groups with per capita consumption having almost doubled since the 1950s.

The survey chose a representative sample of 5000 adults in UK. After factoring age and location, researches found that those earning more than £35,000 a year were inclined to drink more frequently than those earning £10,000 or less.

The study shows that about 33% of the rich and 17 % of women drank daily compared to only 17 % of men and 11 % women in the category making less money.

Similarly middle-aged people were found to be more likely to drink than any other age group. Whereas one out of every three men aged 55 or more consume liquor at least five times in a week, only half this number in the category of 20s and 30s does so.

The figure was around 17 % for older women over 55 drinking at least five times a week while only 7% women in their late 20s and early 30s did the same.

What was also surprising was the finding that Binge drinking, consuming more than 6-8 units of alcohol at one sitting was more rampant in the affluent households than in those belonging to the lower earning section.

Chief executive of The NHS Information Centre Tim Straughan reportedly summarizes, “The figures show that a greater percentage in the richest households drink frequently than those in the poorest and that drinking more than twice the recommended levels on at least one day in the previous week is common.”

The survey does seem to be biased towards influencing the decision makers to make alcohol a more expensive drink, a hot topic of debate in UK these days. "The figures reiterate the need for this government to tackle the affordability of alcohol," says Shenker, according to the report in MedGuru.

Whereas, no known recognised studies have been conducted in India, it is generally believed that the results would be exactly opposite. The more affluent generally drink much more under control than the less fortunate- the reason is perhaps because the poor people drink to get drunk- a major factor why the wine culture is not picking up as fast a pace as one would presume. Further, the older people drink much less than those in the 20s and 30s-if the DUI car accidents are any indicator.


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