Dry July - Australians are thirsty for alcohol change
Article by Rebeccah Elley
As Aussies partake in the popular “Dry July” fundraiser to take a break from the binge drinking culture, research by Roy Morgan has highlighted overall we are drinking and smoking less.
The study showed we have improved in five key areas that include alcohol and medical conditions, smoking, nutrition, activity and fitness but we are getting fatter as our BMI results are down.
Overall, Australians consume 129 million glasses of alcohol per week, down 1 million from 130 million in 2008. However, around 5.8 million men and 5.2 million women are now overweight, as the average overweight Australian adult has an extra 16.5kg, up from 15.5kg in 2008.
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The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education’s 2014 Annual Alcohol Poll which examines what Australians drink and what we think about alcohol showed some “positive” changes in consumption patterns and a significant increase in the already high levels of support for policy measures to reduce alcohol harms.
79% of Australians believe more needs to be done (up 5% from 2013), and 64% of Australians believe Governments are not doing enough to reduce harms, an increase of 8% from the previous year.
FARE's chief executive Michael Thorn said Australians have a greater awareness and a better understanding of the many ways in which alcohol can harm not only the drinker, but also those around them. “Repeated alcohol-related tragedies across Australia, and a renewed focus and interest from the media, means we are reminded on an almost daily basis of the negative and far-reaching consequences of alcohol use and abuse."