The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5001.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 9:24 AM

Abstract #44125

Improved estimation of the ethanol content of self-reported drinks of beer and wine in surveys: Methods and implications

William C. Kerr, PhD, Alcohol Research Group, 2000 Hearst Ave. Suite 300, Berkeley, CA 94709, 510 642-5208, and Thomas K. Greenfield, PhD, Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, 2000 Hearst Ave., Suite 300, Berkeley, CA 94709-2130.

Surveys of individual alcohol consumption have usually measured total, or sometimes beverage-specific, ?standard drinks?. Drinks are defined with a particular size and ethanol content and respondents ?convert? actual drinks to this standard. Even where further data on drink size is collected, ethanol content is assumed the same for all drinks. However, beer, wine and spirits are available with a wide range of strengths, varying by brand and type. Beer ranges from 3.2 to 7.8% or more ethanol; wine/wine coolers/fortified wine generally range from 6 to17% by volume. Two approaches for improving consumption estimates of individual consumption are considered. The first uses industry data on ethanol content and market shares by beer and wine type and brand to estimate national and state-level average (and median) ethanol content. The tradeoffs of applying differential ethanol conversions in surveys that include location data are discussed. The second approach directly enquires about brand and type of beer and wine, and the amount ?poured? in a usual drink (brand and type identify ethanol content). The results of a pilot methodological study including these questions will be used to estimate the variation in the ethanol content in reported drinks of beer and wine and the impact of this detailed information on common measures of alcohol consumption behaviors compared to the usual practice of assuming ?standard drinks?. The implications of these results for mis-measurement in surveys, the use of this data in analyses, and the implications for public health will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Understanding Alcohol Abuse Problems: Going beyond Traditional Methods

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA