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White Collar Workers the Real Binge Drinkers

White Collar Workers the Real Binge Drinkers

The New Zealand binge drinker is most likely to be a Pakeha, urban, male of 30 years or older, with a household income over $70,000, according to new research released by the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC).

ALAC Chief Executive, Dr Mike MacAvoy, says that BRC Marketing and Social Research’s The Way We Drink: A Profile Of Drinking Culture In New Zealand shows that the wealthier we are, the more we drink and that those who can’t afford to drink as much, would if they could.

“We can no longer pretend that binge drinking is a solely a teenage problem, nor is it just a male problem. Over half of New Zealand adults demonstrate risky drinking behaviour and women match men in the binge drinking stakes.”

The research segments all New Zealand adults (18 + years) into people who:

don’t drink at all – “non-drinkers” (19 percent of the population)

consciously limit their intake – “conscious moderators” (29 percent of the population)

are unable to drink as much as they would like to, for a range of reasons – “constrained binge drinkers” (23 percent of the population)

have no restrictions on their drinking – “uninhibited binge drinkers” (29 percent of the population).

“Uninhibited binge drinkers tend to drink two or three times a week, with 14 per cent drinking between seven and 10 drinks the last time they drank and a staggering 11 per cent drinking more than 11 drinks. Uninhibited binge drinkers are most likely to be able to afford as much alcohol as they want. They are the group less likely to identify any reasons to modify their drinking behaviour or attitudes”, Dr MacAvoy says.

“Constrained binge drinkers” tend to drink five or more cans of beer once a week, at home or at a friend’s place. Despite identifying reasons why they would constrain their drinking, they are still drinking heavily. In fact constrained binge drinkers are more likely to have had nine or more average glasses of alcohol (20 percent) than “uninhibited binge drinkers” (15 percent).

“There is evidence that constrained binge drinkers would join the uninhibited binge drinkers if they could afford more alcohol and had fewer responsibilities”, Dr MacAvoy said.

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