The Effect of Low Alcohol Beverages on Alcoholism Levels in Canada in 1986
A basic pharmacologic intervention in reducing alcoholism is to reduce the consumption of alcohol. Changes in public taste — preference for sweet flavours and low-calorie products — has led the alcohol industry to market ’coolers’ and ’light’ beers with a lower alcohol content than traditional beer, wine and spirits. The reduction in average per capita consumption of absolute alcohol resulting from the switch to low alcohol beverages was calculated by converting sales data for beer, wine, and spirit alcoholic beverages into absolute alcohol using a conversion factor based on the relative volume market share for ’light’ beers and wine- and spirit-coolers relative to total alcoholic beverage sales, as reported by the Brewers’ Association of Canada, the Canadian Wine Institute and the Association of Canadian Distillers (Table 1). The impact on total consumption is based on the percentage of all consumption due to each type of beverage alcohol, as well as the percentage market share of ’light’ beer or ’coolers’ as a proportion of all alcohol beverage sales. This results in reduced factors for converting alcoholic beverages into absolute alcohol (Table 2).
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