Alcohol’s harm on cardiovascular health is arguably the area where scientific knowledge and public awareness have progressed most slowly in the last decade. For example, public health organizations and health professionals working on cardiovascular issues have been much slower to address alcohol harm in their work, compared to the area of cancer prevention, control and treatment.
In addition to inaction, the myth of alcohol’s benefits for cardiovascular health persists. And in policy making processes this misunderstanding is a critical impediment to accelerating action on alcohol as public health priority. But this is changing.
This episode of the Alcohol Issues Podcast is exploring why change is needed and how it can be further accelerated.

The Alcohol Issues Podcast – Season 2 Episode 01

The Alcohol Issues Podcast is an original production by Movendi International. It’s a show about current alcohol issues of global importance. Through in-depth conversations with policy makers, community leaders and scientists, we explore alcohol policy issues, discuss landmark scientific studies, and expose the alcohol industry.

The Guests

In this episode of The Alcohol Issues Podcast, host Maik Dünnbier welcomes Mark Petticrew and May van Schalkwyk.

Mark is Professor of Public Health Evaluation in the Department of Social and Environmental Health Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is Director of the NIHR Public Health Research Unit.

May is Specialist Registrar in Public Health and (NIHR) National Institute for Health Research Doctoral Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, researching the commercial determinants of health.

The Discussion

Our guests are two of the authors of a very important study called “Analysis of the Accuracy and Completeness of Cardiovascular Health Information on Alcohol Industry-Funded Websites”.

Together, we take an in-depth look at how alcohol industry-funded websites mis-represent the evidence on cardiovascular health.

The topic of alcohol’s impact on cardiovascular health is important in three aspects: 

  1. protecting people and patients from avoidable alcohol harms; 
  2. increasing public recognition of the real effects of alcohol; and 
  3. facilitating alcohol policy action to prevent and reduce alcohol harm.

The Alcohol Industry and the Social Aspects and Public Relations Organisations (SAPROs) it funds, have been shown to mis-represent the risk of alcohol with respect to cancer and pregnancy.

Therefore, the assumption seems plausible that Big Alcohol would do the same with regards to alcohol and cardiovascular health. In their recent study, researchers around Mark Petticrew and May van Schalkwyk investigated the assumption that the alcohol industry would position alcohol as ‘heart healthy’ to further undermine public perceptions of risks from alcohol consumption.

In this conversation we talk about the study, its findings and implications. The conversation provides an update about what scientists actually know about alcohol’s link to cardiovascular disease.

And we take a broader and more detailed look at the strategies and tactics of the alcohol industry to frame and misrepresent the effects of their products on human health. For instance, we talk about what we know about alcohol industry misrepresentation of alcohol’s link to cancer. And we discuss what to do with the findings of the study.

Resources for the episode 

Follow Prof. Mark Petticrew on Twitter.
Follow Dr. May van Schalkwyk on Twitter.

Listen to the episode

Listen to season 2, episode 01 of the Alcohol Issues Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Further reading

For further reading, on Movendi International’s News Center, you can find multiple resource on the topics covered in the conversation, such as the link between alcohol and cancer, the link between alcohol and heart disease, the strategies of the alcohol industry, and other research projects of Mark and May relevant to this conversation.

Source Website: Keep Updated with Movendi International