Habitual alcohol consumers’ understanding of “moderate drinking”: A cross-sectional study in Japan


The Healthy Japan 21 project launched in FY2000 advocated dissemination of the knowledge that intake of about 20 g of pure alcohol per day represents a “moderate” drinking level. The aim of the present study was to explore various points that have been debated with regard to “moderate drinking”. An Internet-based questionnaire survey was administered to normal adults who habitually drank alcohol one or more days a week, and we studied the amount of alcohol consumed by those who responded that they did moderately without fail. Gender-based logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between “non-moderate drinking” on the one hand and drinking frequency, marital status, and lifestyle habits on the other. Responses were obtained from 1088 persons (548 men and 540 women) (response rate: 57.6%), of whom 31.9% of the men and 53.6% of the women responded that they drank moderately without fail. Among these drinkers, 54.6% of the men and 78.2% of the women in reality drank moderately. For both men and women, the odds ratio (OR) for “non-moderate drinking” increased as drinking frequency increased. When “1 to 2 days a week” was taken as the reference, the OR values for “every day” were 8.69 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.98 - 15.14) for men and 7.35 (95% CI: 4.20 - 12.88) for women. Furthermore, significantly higher ORs were observed among both single men and single women, and among male smokers. The present study has clarified that dissemination of knowledge about “moderate drinking” has not been effective. Encouraging more awareness of the importance of drinking frequency is also considered necessary.

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Ohtsu, T. , Shirasawa, T. , Ochiai, H. , Hoshino, H. and Kokaze, A. (2013) Habitual alcohol consumers’ understanding of “moderate drinking”: A cross-sectional study in Japan. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 238-245. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.32032.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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