Latest News

Health warnings rarely worry middle-aged moderate drinkers

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Middle-aged drinkers (30–65 year olds), who consume low-levels of alcohol, have either minor or non-existent concerns about the health effects of drinking, according to a systematic review published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide analysed 13 studies to find that the drinking behavior of middle-aged drinkers without a drinking problem is influenced by factors such as respectability, gender and being in the company of others, but not by health concerns.

Emma Muhlack, corresponding author from the University’s School of Public Health, says: “It is surprising that health does not strongly factor in the way that this group thinks about their drinking.”

“When middle-aged drinkers do think about health they use their own experiences as a benchmark (e.g. what it feels like when you drink too much) rather than the guidelines handed down by health organizations.

“Middle-aged drinkers consider it to be important to drink in a way that is appropriate to their age or stage of life and which allows them to meet their responsibilities and avoid obvious signs of drunkenness,” she says.

Gender was also found to play a role in what was considered acceptable drinking, with certain drinks being deemed more appropriate for women and others for men. Additionally, drinking at home was associated with women but drinking in public was associated with men.

Emma Muhlack says: “Prior to this review we knew very little about the decision-making processes that go into the alcohol consumption of middle age drinkers. The results help us to better understand how drinking alcohol fits into their everyday lives and which factors may need to be taken into consideration when attempting to reduce alcohol consumption in this group.”

The results suggest that public health campaigns aimed at reducing alcohol consumption in middle-aged moderate drinkers may be more effective if they focus on the risks of what may be considered unacceptable drinking behaviors. Such risks might include not meeting responsibilities to others, the possibility of causing harm to others and the potential loss of respectability, instead of personal health outcomes.

The authors analysed 13 papers, including nine from the UK, which examined alcohol consumption and how it was experienced in a population that included middle-aged moderate drinkers.

The authors caution that, as most of the studies analysed in the review were carried out in the UK, the generalisability of the results to other countries may be limited. [Full Story]

RSS News Feed


More Headlines

An aspirin a day does not prolong good health

Monday, 17 September 2018

The results from a seven-year study of the benefits and risks of a low daily dose of aspirin to the lives of people over 70 are published in three papers in today's New England Journal of Medicine. [Full Story]


Project captures Stolen Generations' voices

Thursday, 13 September 2018

A project led by University of Adelaide researchers is collecting oral histories of the Stolen Generations of the Ngarrindjeri people from Murray Bridge, South Australia. [Full Story]


3MT prize for dragonfly researcher

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

University of Adelaide PhD student Bernard Evans has won the University's annual Three Minute Thesis competition for research communication. [Full Story]


Wombat conference focuses on Aussie cultural icon

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Experts from the world of wombats will gather for a three-day conference, titled Wombats Through Time and Space, at the University of Adelaide to discuss one of Australia's most famous cultural icons. [Full Story]



Upcoming Events

Evening Concert Series - Melba Quartet

Date/Time: Saturday, 22 September 2018, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Elder Hall


Annual Florey Lecture: Professor Chris Sweeney

Date/Time: Monday, 24 September 2018, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Location: G030 lecture theatre, Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building, the University of Adelaide


12th annual Florey Postgraduate Research Conference

Date/Time: Tuesday, 25 September 2018, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location: National Wine Centre


Public Forum: The Endometriosis Q&A

Date/Time: Wednesday, 26 September 2018, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Location: Adelaide Health & Medical Sciences Building, Ground Floor, North Terrace


Lunchtime Concert Series - Sonic Arts Presents: A Tribute to Ryuchi Sakamoto and the Yellow Magic Orchestra

Date/Time: Friday, 28 September 2018, 1:10 pm to 2:00 pm
Location: Elder Hall