What is the impact of labelling wine and beer as lower in alcohol strength?

Increased availability of lower strength alcohols has the potential to reduce alcohol consumption across the population. But this depends upon these products being selected in place of equal volumes of higher strength products. What if the lower strength products lead people to feel they can consume more? The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of lower strength alcohol labelling on consumption.

We found that the total amount of wine and beer consumed increased as the label on the drink denoted successively lower alcohol strength. Individual differences in drinking patterns and socio-demographic indicators did not affect these results.

The present findings add to a small existing literature that highlights how measures intended to benefit public health (in this case wider availability of lower strength alcohol products) may benefit industry to the detriment of the health of the public.

Impact of lower strength alcohol labeling on consumption: A randomized controlled trial. Vasiljevic M, Couturier DL, Frings D, Moss AC, Albery IP, Marteau TM, 2018

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