Introduction and aims: Significant changes have occurred in the alcohol environment in New Zealand recently and there has been debate about how trends in alcohol consumption may currently look. This paper reports trends in drinking over three general population samples in New Zealand.
Design and methods: Three nationally representative comparable surveys were analysed for trends in: prevalence of drinking, typical occasion quantity, annual frequency and heavier drinking (5+ drinks). Analyses assessed the mean difference of the measures at each year point. Adjustments for multiple comparisons were made. Analysis was undertaken for age and separately for gender.
Results: Increases in quantities consumed on a typical occasion occurred for the majority of age groups between 1995 and 2000. Women were as likely as men to increase the quantities they consumed. Observing differences between age groups found that young people tended to show the greatest increases in quantity (including heavier drinking) and frequency of consumption between 1995 and 2000. Drinking levels remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2004 with the exception of increases in abstention for some of the younger groups and increases in quantities consumed and heavier drinking among some of the older men.
Discussion and conclusions: Increases in quantities consumed per occasion have occurred almost across the board between 1995 and 2000 in New Zealand. Women were as likely as men to increase the quantities they consumed. Young people tended to show the greatest increases in quantity (including heavier drinking) and frequency of consumption between 1995 and 2000. Drinking remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2004.
© 2010 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.