Motion S5M-05585: Poorest At Greatest Risk From Binge Drinking

13 May 2017

That the Parliament notes the findings from a study led by University of Glasgow researchers, which it understands shows a disproportionate increase in ill health from excessive drinking for people living in poverty; notes that the study, Socioeconomic status as an effect modifier of alcohol consumption and harm: analysis of linked cohort data, was published in The Lancet Public Health; acknowledges the comments by the lead author of the study, Dr Vittal Katikireddi, which highlight that the poorest in society are at much greater risk of the harmful impact of alcohol on health, the cause of which is not related to drinking or binge drinking more often; notes with interest the suggestion that the increased impact on health could be a “direct consequence of poor material circumstances and psycho-social stresses”, which it believes suggests that poverty can reduce resilience to disease, leading to a greater danger to people from poorer backgrounds; appreciates that the proportion of people binge drinking has fallen in recent years but recognises that 20% of the population in the latest Scottish Health Survey admitted to regular binge drinking; believes that the study is a valuable contribution to understanding the challenges presented by excessive drinking, and hopes that it can help shape policy in a way that protects the most deprived in society.