Australians are drinking more alcohol now than ever before, a new study has found.
In sharp contrast to the 2010 study that found that Australian drinking habits were on the decline, new research published in the Medical Journal of Australia has discovered that we’re actually drinking more than ever.
The study into the rate and level of alcohol consumption in Australia has dug up some astounding results suggesting that our daily alcohol intake has increased, women are lessening the drinking gender gap and underage drinkers are putting themselves at risk more often, with more troubling consequences.
The study, led by the University of Sydney’s Farhat Yusuf and Stephen Leeder, has shown that Australians are drinking 13 per cent more than they did 15 years ago, with our daily alcohol intake jumping from 3.9 standard drinks a day to 4.3.
And although men are still leading the way in alcohol consumption, women are not far behind.
The study reported that men are drinking up to five standards drinks per day, whilst women are drinking 3.4.
These figures are a dramatic increase from the ones reported in 2001, which put men’s standard drink consumption at 4.7 and women’s at 2.8.
Based on these results, women are fast closing the ‘gender drinking gap’, taking it from 40 per cent (less alcohol consumed than men) in 2001 to 33 per cent.
But it’s not only women who are putting themselves at risk. The study also went on to show that underage drinking has increased to concerning levels as well.
Although data for underage drinkers (15 – 19 year olds) was not recorded in 2001, the study shows that teenagers are consuming around 7.1 standard drinks per day – 65 per cent more than adults and four times the national safe drinking guidelines.
The study also went onto report that disadvantaged people with lower incomes exhibited higher alcohol consumption.
“Relatively disadvantaged people reported higher consumption levels, and they also spent a somewhat larger proportion of their household budget on alcohol,” read the report.
The study did not put forth any suggestions about what could be behind Australia’s disturbing alcoholic increase.