This week: AB InBev “off track” on no-lo pledge; WHO agrees alcohol action plan; Cardio problems found for lower-level alcohol drinking; Alcohol and other drug calls in Australia triple; AR editor takes new role
Brewing giant ABinbev said it was ‘off track’ in its goal of 20% of its beer volume being no or low alcohol by 2025. The proportion is currently around 6%, said an executive, according to reports. This means it would need almost 50% growth a year in nolo volumes to reach its target. Its definition of nolo is thought to be broad enough to include beer up to 3.5%, which is strong enough to cause consumers problems. Genuinely low alcohol brews can be a helpful replacement for people cutting down. But critics also say nolo beers are used to bypass restrictions on alcohol advertising and to stall effective regulation.
“Since its endorsement ten years ago, the resources and capacities for implementation of the WHO Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol have been inadequate to address the magnitude of the problem,” the action plan is intended to remedy this. “Alcohol policy will be a regular agenda item & a public health priority,” tweeted Maik Dünnbier of Movendi, an NGO which has worked for four years to get an action plan written and agreed.
Drinking more than 88ml of alcohol a week was associated with worsening pre-heart failure or progression to symptomatic heart failure in Europeans, in a new study. This almost half the level of UK’s weekly guideline of 140ml a week. There was no benefit found for even lower levels of alcohol consumption.
Australians made around 25,000 calls to the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline in 2021, compared to about 7,800 calls in 2019, according to a new report from the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.
“Delighted to take on a more active role in securing consumers the infomation they need to make informed decisions about alcohol,“ said the editor of Alcohol Review Phil Cain, who started working on policy and communication at the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare) this week. The newsletter will carry on as before.