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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: New national alcohol guidelines in the UK: public awareness, understanding and behavioural intentions
Author(s): Rosenberg, Gillian
Bauld, Linda
Hooper, Lucie
Buykx, Penny
Holmes, John
Vohra, Jyotsna
Keywords: alcohol consumption
socioeconomic factors
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2018
Citation: Rosenberg G, Bauld L, Hooper L, Buykx P, Holmes J & Vohra J (2018) New national alcohol guidelines in the UK: public awareness, understanding and behavioural intentions. Journal of Public Health, 40 (3), pp. 549-556.
Abstract: Background  Alcohol consumption places a significant burden on the NHS and is an important risk factor for cancer, associated with 12 800 UK cases/year. New alcohol guidelines were published in 2016, taking into account the increasing evidence of the health harms of alcohol.  Methods  A survey of the UK drinker population (n= 972) was conducted 1 week before and 1 month after the release of the guidelines to capture drinking habits, guideline awareness and intended behaviour change.  Results  Overall, 71% were aware of the new alcohol guidelines, however, just 8% knew what the recommended limits were. Higher socioeconomic groups were more likely to know these limits (ABC1 = 9% versus C2DE = 4%,P= 0.009). Participants who recognized the message that alcohol causes cancer were more likely to correctly identify the new guidelines (message recognition = 12% versus no recognition = 6%,P= 0.004); and were more likely to self-report an intention to reduce their alcohol consumption (message recognition = 10% versus no recognition = 6%,P= 0.01).  Conclusion  The majority of the population knew the guidelines had been updated, however, communication of the new limits needs to be improved. Raising awareness of the links between alcohol and cancer may improve understanding of alcohol guidelines and could prompt behaviour change for those motivated to reduce their alcohol consumption.
DOI Link: 10.1093/pubmed/fdx126
Rights: © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact

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