Lo­cals hold their booze

Canning Gazette - - NEWS - Sarah Brookes

CAN­NING res­i­dents have the low­est rates of risky al­co­hol con­sump­tion in the state, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port.

Aus­tralia’s Health Tracker by Area Al­co­hol Re­port from Vic­to­ria Univer­sity’s Mitchell In­sti­tute found Perth’s wealthy western sub­urbs are home to Aus­tralia’s heav­i­est drinkers, with al­most one third of peo­ple in Mos­man Park, Cottes­loe, Pep­per­mint Grove and Fre­man­tle likely to be drink­ing at risky lev­els, well above the na­tional rate of 17 per cent.

Can­ning was the area with the low­est drink­ing rate in WA at 15.7 per cent, while the Town of Vic­to­ria Park was at 17 per cent.

The City of Bel­mont and City of South Perth were slightly above the na­tional av­er­age at 18 per cent.

Mitchell In­sti­tute’s Pro­fes­sor Rose­mary Calder said the re­port found that lower so­cioe­co­nomic com­mu­ni­ties with high mi­grant pop­u­la­tions had the low­est rates of risky drink­ing.

“This sug­gests that a cul­ture of drink­ing plays the big­gest fac­tor in risky drink­ing rates, and al­co­hol prices are also in­flu­enc­ing drink­ing pat­terns,” Prof Calder said.

Risky drink­ing rates ex­ceed on av­er­age two stan­dard drinks a day.

This month, the Na­tional Health and Med­i­cal Re­search Coun­cil (NHMRC) re­leased newly re­vised guide­lines on al­co­hol con­sump­tion rec­om­mend­ing peo­ple drink no more than 10 stan­dard drinks per week to re­duce the health risks from al­co­hol.

Pre­vi­ous guide­lines sug­gested no more than two stan­dard drinks on any day or 14 per week.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Anne Kelso said the guide­lines had been de­vel­oped over the past three years us­ing the best health ev­i­dence avail­able.

“We’re not telling Aus­tralians how much to drink,” she said.

“We’re pro­vid­ing ad­vice about the health risks from drink­ing al­co­hol so that we can all make in­formed de­ci­sions.”

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