Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Alcohol Concern Cymru - the most ignorant of nannying fussbuckets


Although BBC Wales does its best to make Alcohol Concern Cymru not seem like a bunch of idiots even they can't quite manage it with this story:

An alcohol charity claims there a "silent epidemic" of heavy drinking among elderly people in Wales

But Alcohol Concern Cymru's (AAC) report quotes statistics that have been challenged by drinks industry body The Portman Group. The group argued overall trends showed "a positive and continuing decline in the rates of excessive drinking".

Andrew Misell of AAC said there was anecdotal evidence from elderly support workers to back their claim.

All your typical row until you get to look at why AAC issued their scary press release:

The paper compares figures from Welsh Government-commissioned Health Surveys of 2003/4 and 2009 as "evidence that the proportion of older people drinking more than the recommended amount is rising".

AAC said the number of over 65s who said they had drunk more than the recommended maximum in the previous week rose from 22% (men) and 7% (women) in 2003/4 to 34% (men) and 17% (women) in 2009.

See scary - a huge increase in wrinkly boozing is evidenced from the surveys. Except that - as the BBC eventually explain:
However, BBC Wales understands that as a result of changes in methodology adopted by the compilers of the Welsh Health Survey in 2006 the two sets of statistics are not comparable.

Ah, there you are you see! No increase in drinking. However AAC keep wriggling:

When challenged on the paper's use of statistics Mr Misell said: "Those statistics were taken as an illustration. It's certainly the case that more work needs to be done in terms of finding out what exactly is the pattern of drinking among older people.

"The point of the paper is that it's a hidden problem. If you talk to people working with older people they will say there's quite a lot of anecdotal evidence to support the fact that alcohol is a problem."

The problem is so hidden that the statistics can't pick it up and are showing old folk drinking less rather than more. Something must be done!


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