A new study examining the levels of support of various alcohol control policies across seven countries including Australia, has found broad support for the proposition that alcohol products should carry pregnancy health warnings.
The findings—that 68% of Australians and 67% of New Zealanders surveyed are in favor—come at a critical time, with Australian and New Zealand Health and Food Ministers shortly to vote on recommendations by independent authority Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to introduce long-awaited alcohol warning labels.
Conducted by The George Institute for Global Health, the study measured the level of support for 14 alcohol control initiatives relating to a range of issues including alcohol labeling, pricing and promotion across seven countries—Australia, Canada, China, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
As part of a larger study examining attitudes and behaviors relevant to health policy support across the seven countries a minimum of 1,000 adults (18+ years) from each country completed an online survey.
While previous research on public attitudes to alcohol policies has examined attitudes in higher-income countries, this is one of few studies to also examine support for such policies in China and India—two highly populous countries experiencing rapid economic growth and rising per capita alcohol consumption.
Across all policies, support was generally higher in India (80-86%) and China (57-85%), and lower in the United States (33-72%) and Canada (35-68%).
Support was highest for labeling requirements, in particular pregnancy warnings (67-85%) and standard drink quantity information (63-83%).
Professor Simone Pettigrew, Program Head, Food Policy at The George Institute and study co-author said the high level of public support for alcohol control initiatives in the seven countries surveyed was helpful in providing governments with the impetus they need to introduce appropriate and effective public health measures.