26 April 2017 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: This study tested the measurement invariance of the Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised Short Form (DMQ-R-SF) in undergraduates across 10 countries. We expected the four-factor structure to hold across countries, and for social motives to emerge as the most commonly endorsed motive, followed by enhancement, coping and conformity motives. We also compared individualistic and collectivistic countries to examine potential differences in the endorsement of drinking motives when countries were divided according to this broad cultural value.

DESIGN AND METHODS: A sample of 8478 undergraduate drinkers from collectivistic (Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, Spain; n = 1567) and individualistic (Switzerland, Hungary, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland, and the USA; n = 6911) countries completed the DMQ-R-SF. Countries were classified as individualistic or collectivistic based on world-wide norms.

RESULTS: Using multigroup confirmatory factor analysis, the 4-factor model of the DMQ-R-SF showed configural and metric invariance across all 10 countries. As predicted, the rank order of undergraduates' drinking motive endorsement was identical across countries (social > enhancement > coping > conformity), although a mixed model analysis of variance revealed a significant interaction where undergraduates from individualistic countries more strongly endorsed social and enhancement motives relative to undergraduates from collectivistic countries.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: There was broad cross-cultural consistency in the factor structure and mean patterns of drinking motives. Undergraduate students appear to drink mainly for positive reinforcement (i.e. for social and enhancement reasons), although this tendency is particularly pronounced among those from more individualistic countries.

[Mackinnon SP, Couture M-E, Cooper ML, Kuntsche E, O'Connor RM, Stewart SH, and the DRINC Team. Cross-cultural comparisons of drinking motives in 10 countries: Data from the DRINC project. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;00:000-000]

26 April 2017 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

The quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption are crucial both in risk assessment as well as epidemiological and clinical research. Using the Munich Composite International Diagnostic Interview (M-CIDI), drinking amounts have been assessed in numerous large-scale studies. However, the accuracy of this assessment has rarely been evaluated. This study evaluates the relevance of drink categories and pouring sizes, and the factors used to convert actual drinks into standard drinks. We compare the M-CIDI to alternative drink assessment instruments and empirically validate drink categories using a general population sample (n = 3165 from Germany), primary care samples (n = 322 from Italy, n = 1189 from Germany), and a non-representative set of k = 22503 alcoholic beverages sold in Germany in 2010-2016. The M-CIDI supplement sheet displays more categories than other instruments (AUDIT, TLFB, WHO-CIDI). Beer, wine, and spirits represent the most prevalent categories in the samples. The suggested standard drink conversion factors were inconsistent for different pouring sizes of the same drink and, to a smaller extent, across drink categories. For the use in Germany and Italy, we propose the limiting of drink categories and pouring sizes, and a revision of the proposed standard drinks. We further suggest corresponding examinations and revisions in other cultures.

01 February 2017 In Social and Cultural Aspects

The alcohol industry have attempted to position themselves as collaborators in alcohol policy making as a way of influencing policies away from a focus on the drivers of the harmful use of alcohol (marketing, over availability and affordability). Their framings of alcohol consumption and harms allow them to argue for ineffective measures, largely targeting heavier consumers, and against population wide measures as the latter will affect moderate drinkers. The goal of their public relations organisations is to 'promote responsible drinking'. However, analysis of data collected in the International Alcohol Control study and used to estimate how much heavier drinking occasions contribute to the alcohol market in five different countries shows the alcohol industry's reliance on the harmful use of alcohol. In higher income countries heavier drinking occasions make up approximately 50% of sales and in middle income countries it is closer to two-thirds. It is this reliance on the harmful use of alcohol which underpins the conflicting interests between the transnational alcohol corporations and public health and which militates against their involvement in the alcohol policy arena.

[Caswell S, Callinan S, Chaiyasong S, Cuong PV, Kazantseva E, Bayandorj T, Huckle T, Parker K, Railton R, Wall M. How the alcohol industry relies on harmful use of alcohol and works to protect its profits. Drug Alcohol Rev 2016;35:661-664]

01 February 2017 In General Health

Since the original Comparative Risk Assessment (CRA) for alcohol consumption as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study for 1990, there had been regular updates of CRAs for alcohol from the World Health Organization and/or the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. These studies have become more and more refined with respect to establishing causality between dimensions of alcohol consumption and different disease and mortality (cause of death) outcomes, refining risk relations, and improving the methodology for estimating exposure and alcohol-attributable burden. The present review will give an overview on the main results of the CRAs with respect to alcohol consumption as a risk factor, sketch out new trends and developments, and draw implications for future research and policy.

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