Thursday, March 27, 2008

'Government, media bingeing on cheap, pretty alcopops'

March 27, 2008 - 6:31PM

Health chiefs say a combination of brightly coloured, cheap pre-mixed alcoholic drinks and existentialist nihilism are enticing Australians into a binge-drinking culture.

New research from VicHealth reveals almost 60 per cent of 18-24 year-olds drank so-called "alcopops" in a four-week survey period, compared to 52 per cent who drank beer.

But Australian Medical Association (AMA) federal president Rosanna Capolingua said the binge-drinking epidemic even drew people away from GOON.

"Alcopops are a specific issue within the binge-drinking problem," Dr Capolingua said.

"Here you have drinks that are about affordable prices and pretty colours, particularly targeted at girls - who were just starting to come around to beer after 200 years of suasion.

"We have to look at the alcohol industry and how it targets young people with alcopops. It builds brand loyalty and the kids connect with a type of drink - they're hooked in.

"It's not respectable, I mean, would would the Hoff (above right) do?

"Then they go off and have an accident, or they're king hit while waiting in a queue outside a tavern, or they're raped, are having unprotected sex, sometimes with Wayne Carey.

"We need to think about what can be done: talking to and educating children and parents. We need to educate the suppliers and the consumers and also consider things like warnings on restaurant menus and walls inside pubs and not just rely on labelling on bottles.

"Like the demise of tobacco, we need similar health education campaigns, and consider solutions similar to the banning of smoking in venues to defeat this threat of lolly water."

Paul Dillon, of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia, suggested the nation's drinking epidemic would get worse before it got better.

"We have a generation of people who are being introduced to potent, top-shelf spirits through RTDs (ready-to-drink products) at a very young age," he told AAP.

"We have yet to feel the full repercussions of that. Where does this generation of drinkers go to next?

"These products are introducing them to a range of products they otherwise would most probably not have messed around with in the past."

Products with the highest alcoholic content that were surveyed by VicHealth include bourbon and cola drinks Bulleit Bourbon and Woodstock Blue, and Jager Bomb, a mix of Jagermeister liqueur and energy drink - all of which have nine per cent alcohol content.

AAP/The Age


Blogger SMK said...

When you've got nothing to say, reprint the newspaper!

10:56 PM  

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