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People seem confused about sensible drinking messages

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  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Political Science


EDITOR—Eleven years after publication of guidelines on sensible drinking,1 the social repercussions from the abuse of alcohol remain worrying in the UK. Unit labelling of alcohol drink containers was introduced in 1998 on a voluntary basis. In 2004 the government encouraged manufacturers to add messages on sensible drinking.2 We investigated two interrelated aspects of public health education—recall of sensible drinking messages and awareness of drink labelling—among Scottish supermarket shoppers. The supermarket visited has pre-empted UK drink labelling innovations—since 2003 wine sourced from its own supplier has displayed a comprehensive label showing the percentage of alcohol, the units of alcohol in the particular bottle, and daily guidelines of sensible drinking for both sexes. Shoppers at three city supermarkets were approached on three consecutive weekdays (July 2005). Of 263 drinkers surveyed, 174 (66%) were women and 248 (94%) purchased alcoholic drinks from supermarkets.

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