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Middle-age drinkers don’t consider alcohol when thinking about their health

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Posted October 3, 2018

Pretty much everyone knows that drinking has severe negative health effects – that is not a surprise to anyone. However, some people are still abusing alcohol, while completely ignoring all the warning signs. A new study from the University of Adelaide found that middle-age drinkers who only consume a moderate amount of alcohol have minor or completely non-existent concerns about the health effects of drinking.

Middle-age drinkers who consume low-levels of alcohol usually don’t see the link between their health and the drinking habit. Image credit: Fabio Ingrosso via Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

Scientists analysed 13 previously done studies to see what do middle-age people, who only consume low-levels of alcohol, think about health effects of their habit. Typically people who have a bigger drinking problem are aware that there is something wrong with their habits. They can witness the deterioration of their health in front of their eyes. However, those who only consume low-levels of alcohol do not necessarily see any rapid changes, which makes it interesting to see what do they think about their drinking habit. Scientists say that it is quite surprising that health doesn’t really factor in the way these people think about their drinking.

Furthermore, these people largely ignore public health information. Instead they rely on their own experiences. For example, they start thinking about times they drank too much when trying to link their drinking and health. On the other hand, middle-age people actually think it is important that they consume alcohol responsibly, factoring in their age, stage of life and responsibilities. Gender is also important – some drinks are considered to be more appropriate for women and some – for men. Also, it is thought that women usually drink at home, while men go out to bars and similar places.

Scientists say that the results of this research could push for changing guidelines for middle-age drinkers. These guidelines should focus on risks and unacceptable drinking behaviour – outlining what these people should avoid. Emma Muhlack, corresponding author of the study, said: “The results help us to better understand how drinking alcohol fits into their everyday lives and which factors may need to be taken into consideration when attempting to reduce alcohol consumption in this group”.

Moderate amounts of alcohol do not damage health immediately. This makes it difficult to see the damage that is being done to the body. However, they should find new ways to inform these people about what they are doing to their health.

 

Source: University of Adelaide

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