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The regional geography of alcohol consumption in England

Alcohol consumption frequency and volume are known to be related to health problems among drinkers. Most of the existing literature that analyses regional variation in drinking behaviour uses measures of consumption that relate only to volume, such as ‘binge drinking’.

A study compared the regional association of alcohol consumption using measures of drinking frequency (daily drinking) and volume (binge drinking) using a nationally representative sample of residents using the Health Survey for England, 2011-2013.

Results suggest the presence of two differentiated drinking patterns with relevant policy implications. The researchers found that people in northern regions are more likely to binge drink, whereas people in southern regions are more likely to drink on most days.

Regression analysis showed that regional variation in binge drinking remains strong when taking into account individual and neighbourhood level controls. The findings provide support for regional targeting of interventions that aim to reduce the frequency as well as volume of drinking.

Source: The regional geography of alcohol consumption in England: comparing drinking frequency and binge drinking. Castillo JM; Jivraj S; Ng Fat L. Health and Place, Vol 43, 2017, pp33-40.

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