“Binge-drinking” still a problem

Some 43% of those in deprived areas binge-drink while just 33% of those in more affluent areas binge-drink according to the annual Healthy Ireland Survey, funded by the Department of Health and conducted by Ipsos MRBI. 

Minister of State for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne TD today launched the new report adding that while there was some good news in it, there was no room for complacency. A new focus in the 2018 survey on the key health issues and the differences between more affluent and more deprived areas found that in deprived areas 26% smoke, 43% binge drink and 33% have long-standing illnesses compared those in more affluent areas where only 16% smoke, 33% binge-drink and 24% have long-standing illnesses.

“It’s very obvious that some groups in our society still have a greater risk of poor health” the Minister stated at the launch of the report, “we need to find better ways of reaching out to these people and helping them to live healthier lives.”

Alcohol consumption figures for 2018 show 37% of the population binge-drink, consuming six or more standard units in one drinking occasion.

“Successive Survey findings clearly show the problems we have with alcohol and that we drink too much alcohol,” she said, “It’s absolutely critical that we change the place that alcohol has in our lives and in our society. I’m therefore delighted that the Public Health Alcohol Bill has now been enacted. This ground-breaking legislation should serve to ultimately reduce the harm alcohol causes.”

This is the fourth summary of findings from the survey and adds to the data collected in the previous surveys published in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The survey of over 7,500 people aged 15 and over living in Ireland gives an up-to-date picture of the health of the nation and reports on many lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, oral health and health services.

A representative sample of 7,701 people aged 15 and older living in Ireland were interviewed between September 2017 and June 2018 and the data from these surveys are being used to underpin policy development and implementation, to monitor, measure and evaluate progress in implementing various elements of the Healthy Ireland Framework as well as to meet many international reporting obligations including to the OECD, the EU and the WHO.

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