Is wine the drink of moderation?
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Objective: To examine,in the light of a current national inquiry into taxation for wine, claims that wine drinkers rarely misuse alcohol and that cask wine is more likely to be misused than bottled wine.Methods: 1272 persons aged 16 years and over and resident in metropolitan Perth were interviewed in their homes regarding their use of alcohol.Results: The alcohol consumption of 524(373 women, 151 men) who had drunk at least one glass of wine on one or more of their last four drinking days was examined in relation to National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines.While only 2.9% of women and 2.6% of men had an average daily intake of wine above low risk levels, 6.9% of women and 13.2% of men had exceeded these levels when considering all alcoholic beverages. When wine intake was examined for the day of highest consumption of the last four drinking days recalled by each respondent, 42.3% of women and 16.6% of men had exceeded low risk levels.There was no significant difference in the amounts of cask or bottled wine consumed in 180 wine drinkers for whom the distinction between cask and bottled varieties could be made and who drank wine on their last drinking occasion.Conclusions: Past estimates of the centribution of wine consumption to excessive alcohol intake are underestimates. Raising the tax on wine should be considered as a public health measure and taxes should be levied in direct relation to alcohol content to encourage the consumption of lower alcohol varieties.
Stockwell T et al.Is wine the drink of moderation?. MJA 1995; 162:578-581. Copyright 1995. The Medical Journal of Australia - reproduced with permission.
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