The study was conducted with 600 people living in New South Wales, Australia. Alcohol consumption was self reported in February and followed up in May and June of this year. More follow ups are planned for the future as well.
The study found that two out of three people who were surveyed had either kept their alcohol use the same or lowered it. Many people have reported that the lockdown acted as a catalyst to change for healthier behaviors, including reduced alcohol use, healthier food and more exercise.
However the positive results vary greatly generationally.
- Generation Z (defined as those between 18 to 24) years decreased their alcohol consumption the most at 44%. This is about one in two people.
- Comparatively only one in five among Millennials (25 to 39 years), Generation X (40 to 55 years) and Baby Boomers (56 to 74 years) reported reducing alcohol use.
- Concerningly, millennials are reported to have switched to at-home alcohol use with 42% reporting increased alcohol use.
- From Generation X most people reported they had same levels of alcohol consumption as before the lockdown, at 45%.
The trend for younger generations to reduce alcohol use or go alcohol-free has been happening globally over recent years. The current Generation Z is said to be the least alcohol using youth in history.
The study found no significant difference between women and men in terms of alcohol consumption, but did find that parents with children at home were at risk of higher alcohol use during the lockdown. This is a fact exploited by Big Alcohol. Movendi International exposed how the alcohol industry targets marketing towards parents during the lockdown as a “stress reliever”.
The study also highlights that male alcohol consumption remains higher than female consumption. More attention needs to be paid to men who consume alcohol heavily. According to estimates published by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) in 2019, in the top 10% of alcohol users, three out of four were male.
Alcohol norms associated with masculinity play a large role in driving the high male alcohol consumption in Australia. Addressing the norms with public awareness can bust myths and give Australians the freedom to choose healthier living for themselves.