England: Updated Local Alcohol Profiles
Public Health England (PHE) has published the most recent update to their Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE).
In addition to information on alcohol-related mortality, hospital admissions and treatment, the new update includes data on both alcohol sales and numbers of licensed premises.
The headline figures show that around three quarters of the population use alcohol within the revised alcohol guidelines of 14 units a week.
- 16.5% of alcohol users binge consumed on their heaviest consumption day in the previous week – with ‘binge’ defined as consuming over 6 units (for women) or 8 units (for men) in one session.
- 15.5% of the population reported not using alcohol at all.
Beyond these headlines, however, the inclusion of new local data on sales and outlet density marks an important development for the LAPE. Rather than relying on estimates drawn from national surveys, PHE have purchased data from two commercial companies: CGA Strategy and Nielsen.
This development has allowed PHE to produce more precise estimates than previously. As is well-known, survey data only accounts for about half of the alcohol that is purchased, so sales figures give a much more comprehensive picture (although they don’t tell who is doing the purchasing or patterns of consumption).