Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Most alcohol industry profits come from problem drinkers - studies"

"Alcohol industry giants like Diageo, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and MillerCoors claim they promote responsible drinking, but a new study from the UK reveals the 'dirty little secret' that most of their profits come from 'harmful' and 'hazardous' customers.

"Of the estimated £37.8 billion ($54bn) profit reaped by English alcohol sales in 2013, £23.7 billion came from what health professionals call 'harmful' and 'hazardous' drinkers who risk their health and cause lethal damage, according to the Guardian.

"'Hazardous' drinkers consume more than 14 'units' per week, equal to about seven pints, whereas 'harmful', or 'risky', drinkers consume more than 50 units per week for men, or 35 for women.

"This can lead to liver problems, cancer, and anti-social problems like domestic abuse, drunk driving, and other forms of violence.

"Looking at data from the Health Survey for England, researchers from Southampton University were able to calculate how this translates in financial terms, concluding that £14.4 billion ($20bn) worth of sales came from 'hazardous' drinkers and £9.3 billion ($13bn) from 'harmful' drinkers.

"Official figures from England's Health & Social Care Information Centre show the fatal repercussions of consumption are 6,592 alcohol-related deaths in 2013, a ten percent increase in just ten years.

"This echoes a new report from Australia this week which was also shows the alcohol industry’s heavy reliance on risky drinkers.

"Australia’s main consumers of alcohol represent just 20 percent of the population, but account for over 74 percent of all the alcohol consumed each year.

"The findings demonstrate that if this 20 percent reduced their consumption to within the guidelines, the total alcohol consumed in Australia would decrease by 39 percent.

"'The alcohol industry is totally dependent on risky drinking,' Michael Thorn, CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education, said. 'This is its dirty little secret. It’s an industry built on identifying, targeting and exploiting its best customers.'"

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I don't think this is really something new.  I've heard of other such studies in the past.  I bet (get it?) that most of the gambling industry's profits come from problem gamblers or gambling addicts, too..  


kkdither said...

I would bet that is the case with gambling, too. I was in shock to hear of those who spent ridiculous amounts, or all of their money on the most recent lottery. As I bought my paltry 1 ticket (something I never do otherwise) there were people buying 10, 20, and more tickets on simply a lick of a chance.

2 pints doesn't seem like a dangerous amount, unless, I guess you do it every day. It is easy to spend hours with friends, eat and consume the equivalent. Me, on the other hand... I'm a tea toddler in comparison.

OrbsCorbs said...

I've been amazed, too, what people spend on lottery tickets and scratch-offs, and not just when the jackpot is huge. I bought 2 Powerball tickets for the 2 drawings it was enormous. The place I regularly buy gas sells lottery tickets. People come in all the time and spend large chunks of money on lottery tickets or scratch-offs. Did you know Wisconsin has a $30 scratch-off ticket? People must be buying it or it wouldn't exist.

Btw, statistically speaking, you do not increase your odds of winning by buying more lottery tickets. You're still more likely to be hit by lightning.

kkdither said...

When I bought mine, the clerk said, "just one?" I replied, that's all you need, right?