Supported by the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand and the Health Research Council of New Zealand.
Survey Data Need Not Underestimate Alcohol Consumption
Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 26, Issue 10, pages 1561–1567, October 2002
How to Cite
Casswell, S., Huckle, T. and Pledger, M. (2002), Survey Data Need Not Underestimate Alcohol Consumption. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 26: 1561–1567. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2002.tb02456.x
- Issue published online: 11 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
- Received for publication March 18, 2002; accepted August 9, 2002.
- Per Capita Consumption
Background There are two main ways to assess alcohol consumption in a population: per capita estimates, usually derived from data on taxable alcohol available for consumption, and population-based surveys. Population-based survey estimates of alcohol consumption are often compared with estimates based on taxable alcohol available for consumption as a measure of validity. Discrepancies between these two measures occur, with the majority of population-based surveys substantially underestimating taxable alcohol available for consumption.
Methods This article argues, however, that high proportions of taxable alcohol available for consumption can be accounted for by population-based surveys and reports a method of data collection for a national alcohol survey that has accounted for 94% of the taxable alcohol in New Zealand.
Results The ability of the survey methodology to account for this proportion of taxable alcohol is likely due to the within-location beverage-specific alcohol consumption measures used in the survey, the process of recording the quantity of alcohol consumed, the use of a computer-assisted telephone interview system, and the population coverage achieved.
Conclusions Population-based surveys using the methodology outlined in this article may account for, if not exceed, the high proportions of taxable alcohol available for consumption estimates for some populations.