Over the limit: Survey reveals Baby Boomers drink more than any other generation

Nov 16, 2020
The survey revealed that Baby Boomers were the most likely to pour a glass or crack a cold one during the week. Source: Getty.

When considering the drinking habits of everyday Australians, it’s easy to think that younger generations are more likely to enjoy an alcoholic beverage throughout the week, but new survey data has revealed that out of all the generations, it’s actually Baby Boomers who are the heaviest drinkers. In fact, older Australians were actually found to drink more than double the amount of alcohol than Generation Z would over a seven-day period.

The surprising results were revealed by Hello Sunday Morning (HSM), which is an organisation for helping people change their relationship with alcohol, and asked more than 1,250 Australians about their drinking habits through an online survey that was conducted across five days in September.

When each age group was asked how many beverages they would consume in a week, those aged 65 to 74 admitted to enjoying 9.5 drinks on average, which was not only the most out of all the age groups but also more than double that of the younger Australians. Despite their preference for nightclubs and parties, those aged 18 to 24 actually recorded the lowest rate of alcohol consumption across seven days by admitting to consuming just 4.6 drinks.

Additionally, those in the younger demographic were also less likely to routinely drink with just 2 per cent admitting to drinking on a daily basis compared to 16 per cent of those aged above 55.

The report separated drinkers into three categories including low risk (those who drink less than 10 standards in a week or no more than four standards in any one day), high risk (those who drink between 10 and 19 standards in a week or more than four standards in any one day) and very high risk (those who drink more than 20 standards in a week).

Of the whole survey group, 59 per cent were ranked low risk and 8 per cent fell into the very high risk category. Among drinkers in the 65 to 74 age range, 15 per cent fell into the very high risk category with the results showing they consumed more than 31 drinks on average in a seven-day period.

And the results were even more concerning when broken down into gender with 21 per cent of males in this age group also considered to be drinking at a very high risk level. Additionally, older men were recorded to drink 11.4 standard drinks on average which was almost three times as much as young women who were consuming just four drinks on average.

The survey also highlighted the impacts of heavy drinking on other areas of life such as mental health. According to the results, 44 per cent of males in the very high risk category claimed to feel depressed and were more likely to partake in more high-risk activities like drinking alone.

The survey results align with the current data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that says those aged 70 and older continue to be the age group most likely to drink daily and those in the 55 to 74 age range were the most likely to exceed lifetime risk guidelines by consuming more than two standard drinks a day.

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