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|Shhh … Alcohol Consumption Is Down Again|
|Written by Dr Sean Gabb|
|Sunday, 10 June 2012 14:01|
Did you know that the latest NHS statistics on alcohol consumption were released just before the Jubilee?
You didn’t? Well, I suppose it’s an easy mistake to make because the BBC didn’t seem to notice it either. Perhaps it’s because they were all camped out around the Mall … or that the health section’s skeleton staff would have had to report on this little “key fact”.
There is no mention whatsoever of the good news in the NHS report, but a rent-a-quote from Alcohol Concern is given ample publicity.
Sadly (for journalism) even the ‘fact’ they chose to lead on isn’t accurate, as they’d have discovered if bothering to read further down the same paragraph of the press release.
There are more statistical flies in the ointment than that as well – with regard to an increasingly wider net being thrown around up to 20 sub-diagnoses over the past decade – but only, err, DAILY MAIL REPORTER can explain how a real terms decrease is emblazoned on its pages as a “jump” of “10 per cent in a year”.
And, as we know, such figures are also skewed since all manner of admissions not necessarily to do with alcohol are included. “For example, 46% of pedestrian traffic accidents involving women aged 25 to 44 are estimated to be attributable to alcohol.” [6.18]
“What about the children?”, I can hear you cry. Well, it’s good news there too.
Women drinking over the paltry 14 units per week decreased from 18% to 17% while men remained static at 26%, but the average weekly units fell from 16.4 to 15.9 for men and 8.0 to 7.6 for women.
In public health terms, this is cracking news, isn’t it?
Well, not if you’re trying to make a case for an urgent minimum price for alcohol it’s not, no. Best keep it all hush hush then, eh?
FG_AUTHORS: Dr Sean Gabb
|Last Updated on Monday, 08 October 2012 20:27|