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WRITER, CONSULTANT AND BROADCASTER SPECIALISING IN BEER, PUBS AND CIDER. BEER WRITER OF THE YEAR 2009 AND 2012

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Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Joseph Rowntree and the Pissed Women

News headlines today that women are drinking themselves to death - a new report from the Joseph Rowntree foundation looks at British drinking habits and draws some interesting conclusions.

Finding that made it into the press:
- the number of women drinking double the recommended daily units has grown massively in recent years

Finding that didn't make it into the press:
- the number of men doing the same, and the number of young people of both sexes, has fallen over the same period

Finding that didn't make it into the press because it didn't even get into the JRT's press release - in fact, it got buried on page 83 of the report:
- over the survey period, the way units of alcohol are measured changed, so that a glass of wine now counts as two units rather than one - meaning that someone who drinks wine (i.e. women) would see their measured unit 'consumption' double even if the amount they drink stays the same.

My favourite though is the bit in JRT's press release where there is a subtitle that reads "An increase in alcohol consumption amongst children", and the first line of the para that follows begins "Fewer children are drinking".  (The point being, to be fair, that those kids who are drinking are drinking more.  But still.)

Ah, you've got to love 'em.

4 comments:

Dublin beekeeper said...

Has the size of a glass of wine changed? Might sound like a silly question but you do see more of those giant pint wine glasses and such around now.

Do you drink more if wine is served out of a bigger glass?

Woolpack Dave said...

Dublin beekeeper, One of my customers the other day commented that they thought wine was getting stronger..

I think quality wine has always been stronger. Now that quality is available from the new world at a more respectable price, maybe this is the effect.

Cheap German plonk has always been weak and probably the origin of the old measurement of units per glass.

I think bigger glasses result in more volume being drunk, yes. Stella is "Wife beater" in this country but drunk in smaller glasses in it's country of origin and not seen in the same light...now which book did I get that out of...? One of Pete's I think..

Pete said...

DB, you might be right - that was my suspicion - but the report doesn't say that - it just says a 'glass' of wine is now two units not one. If you're right, as I suspect, it just means the report is quite poorly written. Who'd have thought?

BLTP said...

pete,
I've only had chance to read the executive summary but It seems a fair report and stresses the problems of looking at trends when data is collected in differing manners. The chnage in units problem in mentioned at the begining. If your intention was to review the press release that's fine it is issue that the media won't get past that and a shsme that they won't even read a short summary.
The report makes the case that we need to look at seperate groups differently as the trends vary.
The JRT are a respected social change group with no particular axe to grind against alchohol even with their quaker roots.
having clear evidence either is clearly helpful how we get the press to read a bit deeper and explain complex issues clearly is a ongoing issue