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Beverage-specific consumption trends: A cross-country, cross-sectional comparison.
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-26, 04:11 authored by Alexandra TorneyAlexandra Torney, Robin RoomRobin Room, Taisia Huckle, Sally Casswell, Sarah CallinanSarah Callinan
INTRODUCTION: The price of alcoholic beverages can vary for a range of reasons, including tax. Risky drinkers purchase more low-cost alcoholic drinks than moderate drinkers, contributing to beverage-specific risks for that category. The study aimed to examine the proportion of total alcohol consumption comprised by each beverage type and their correlates. Australian and New Zealand populations were compared, where drinking cultures are similar, but taxation of alcohol differs. METHOD: Data was taken from the International Alcohol Control study in Australia (N=1580) and New Zealand (N =1979), a cross national survey that asks questions on beverage specific alcohol consumption at a range of different locations. Tax rates were obtained from previous analyses run on the dataset. RESULTS: Ready to Drink (pre-mixed) beverages are more popular in New Zealand and the proportion of these drinks consumed out of total alcohol consumption by risky drinkers was correspondingly higher there. Conversely, the proportion of wine consumed by risky drinkers was higher in Australia. The consumption of spirits and beer by risky drinkers was similar in both countries. DISCUSSION: Differences found for the proportion of beverages consumed by risky drinkers between the countries are fairly well aligned with differences in the taxation of each drink type. Future adaptations in taxation systems should consider the impact of taxes on preferential beverage choice and associated harms.