Alcohol, like mental health, is a neglected topic in public health discussions. However, it should be defined as a priority public health area because the evidence available to support this is very persuasive. Although only half the world's population drinks alcohol, it is the world's third leading cause of ill health and premature death, after low birth weight and unsafe sex, and the world's greatest cause of ill health and premature death among individuals between 25 and 59 years of age. This article aims to outline current global experiences with alcohol policies and suggests how to communicate better evidence-based policy responses to alcohol-related harm using narratives. The text summarizes 6 actions to provide incentives that would favor a healthier relationship with alcohol in contemporary society. Actions include price and availability changes, marketing regulations, changes in the format of drinking places and on the product itself, and actions designed to nudge people at the time of their purchasing decisions. Communicating alcohol narratives to policymakers more successfully will likely require a discourse emphasizing the reduction of heavy drinking occasions and the protection of others from someone else's problematic drinking.
|Journal of Health Communication : International Perspectives
|Published - 2011