University Principal Backs Call to Tackle Alcohol Harms

University of Aberdeen Principal, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, today welcomed the publication of Health First: An evidence-based alcohol strategy for the UK which calls for the UK Government to prioritise Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) amongst a set of key policies in order to curb the nation's drink problem.

Published today by the University of Stirling, the strategy was developed by a group of experts from a number of universities and health bodies under the auspices of the Alcohol Health Alliance.

Sir Ian said “This is a welcome example of universities and health bodies working together to ensure that the very best evidence is applied to important social problems.  The University of Aberdeen promotes interdisciplinary research in health with a view to that research having a real impact.  Health First addresses a major health problem and one source of the persistent health inequalities in the UK.  I am pleased that one of our experts contributed to this report.  The public opinion survey included in the report demonstrates that most people support the need for changing our relationship with alcohol.”

The University of Aberdeen contribution to the report came from Professor Anne Ludbrook, a member of the Health Economics Research Unit. 

Professor Ludbrook said “Our research has contributed to the evidence base on effective and cost-effective policies to tackle alcohol related harms.  There is no ‘silver bullet’ solution; rather a joined up approach is required using a range of interventions.  Our research in Aberdeen has focused particularly on issues of inequality, identifying that the most deprived 20% of the population experience 40% of the harms.  We have also established that effective price interventions, such as minimum unit pricing, would not affect low income households disproportionately.”