Alcohol consumption

Study reveals effective new method to help reduce alcohol consumption

The negative effects of alcohol consumption have been studied and proven time and time again, but this has not deterred people from indulging in excessive alcohol consumption. Scientists have now found an effective way to get people to reduce their alcohol consumption.

The study, published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, found that using concepts such as “why to reduce” along with “how to reduce” proven be very effective in anti-alcohol television commercials.

Various organizations have tried different approaches to prevent people from drinking excessively. Alcohol consumption is linked to 7% of premature deaths worldwide, according to a WHO report. It causes a myriad of problems like cancer, premature death, heart disease, and digestive issues.

This study used the carcinogenic nature of alcohol as a deterrent combined with advising people to count their drinks. And it worked.

“We found that combining information about alcohol and cancer with a particular practical action – counting their drinks – led drinkers to reduce the amount of alcohol they consumed,” said the lead researcher. Simone Pettigrew of the George Institute for Global Health, said.

The study registered participants in three different online surveys over the course of six weeks. In the first survey, 7,995 people were involved; in the second conducted three weeks later, 4,588 group members participated while in the latter, 2,687 people completed the survey three weeks after the second.

Each of the participants was randomly assigned to eight groups. The first was a control group while the second was shown the “why cut back” on TV advertising. Of the next three groups, each was shown one of the “how to reduce” messages – counting drinks, sticking to a particular number of drinks, and the third being that it’s okay to say no.

Three other groups saw the “why reduce” ad combined with each of the three “how to reduce” messages.

The group that showed a significant reduction in their alcohol consumption was the group that saw the “why reduce” television commercial talking about the link between alcohol consumption and canceras well as the message suggesting counting drinks as a solution.

Other methods, such as asking people to decide on the number of drinks and sticking to them, have also shown promise, but the method mentioned above has remained the most effective.

“A lot of people don’t know that alcohol is carcinogenic,” Pettigrew said. “This is important information that drinkers should have access to. But telling people that alcohol causes cancer is only part of the solution – we also need to empower them to take action to reduce their risk. “

It may be noted that this study primarily included subjects who were “broadly demographically representative of the Australian drinking public”. This may not guarantee that this method will work effectively elsewhere, however, counting glasses is a good option to try to dissuade people from drinking excessively.

“Resources available for alcohol harm reduction campaigns are limited, so it’s important to know which messages resonate best to ensure they have the best chance of working,” Pettigrew said.