Alcohol drinking in adults

Why this indicator is important

Improving health behaviours, such as stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, eating well and exercising regularly, can prevent up to one-third of all cancers.1 

Reducing alcohol consumption can help reduce the risk of cancers arising in the mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach, bowel, liver and breast.1

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released revised draft Alcohol Guidelines in 2019. To reduce long-term risk from alcohol, the guidelines propose no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day. The draft guidelines’ indication for short-term harm remain the same as current guidelines, with a maximum of four standard drinks per day. It is advised that young people under 18 years and pregnant women do not drink alcohol, and that it is safest for breastfeeding women not to drink alcohol.2

About this indicator

This indicator shows the proportion of adults in NSW who reported drinking alcohol within recommended levels.  

  • The proportion of NSW adults drinking alcohol within recommended levels (two or fewer standard alcoholic drinks per day) has remained around 70% over the last 10 years.

Note: These data were the latest available at the time they were extracted (May 2019). For the most recent population health data, visit HealthStats NSW.

Proportion of adults* who consumed alcohol within recommended levels**, NSW, 2009–2018

Proportion of adults* who consumed alcohol within recommended levels**, trend, NSW, 2009–to2018

* People aged 16 years and over.
** Two or fewer standard alcoholic drinks per day, as per National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines.

Notes:

  1. Data source: NSW Population Health Survey (sourced from HealthStats NSW, Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health. Available at: www.healthstats.nsw.gov.au). (accessed July 2019).

Reference:

  1. Whiteman DC, Webb PM, Green AC, Neale RE, Fritschi L, Bain CJ, et al. Cancers in Australia in 2010 attributable to modifiable factors: summary and conclusions. Aust N Z J Public Health 2010 Oct;39(5),477–84 doi: 10.1111/1753–6405.12471
  2. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Draft Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol December 2019. Available at: https:// app.magicapp.org/app#/guideline/4040 (accessed 14 February 2020