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Gender Differences in Reducing Alcohol Consumption through Alcohol-free Beers or Mocktails

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Researchers from University of Tsukuba have investigated gender differences in reducing alcohol consumption by offering alcohol-free beers or mocktails. The study revealed a substantial reduction in overall alcohol consumption among men and women. Notably, it uncovered gender-specific patterns: men reduced the quantity of alcohol consumed on drinking days, whereas women decreased the frequency of their drinking sessions.

Tsukuba, Japan—Excessive alcohol consumption presents a worldwide challenge, acknowledged in the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. One approach to mitigate this issue is promoting nonalcoholic beverages, such as beer and cocktail alternatives. Previous research by this team confirmed that providing nonalcoholic options sunatantially lowers alcohol consumption. However, individual responses to this intervention vary, with gender differences being a notable factor. This study aimed to assess the impact of nonalcoholic beverages on alcohol consumption, with a focus on gender differences.

The study involved 123 adults aged 20 and above, excluding those with alcohol dependence. Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention or a control group. For 12 weeks, the intervention group had access to nonalcoholic beverages, followed by an eight-week observation period to monitor changes in alcohol consumption. The study analyzed the average decrease in alcohol consumption every four weeks between the two groups, segregated by gender. Results indicated that the intervention group, both men and women, experienced a greater reduction in alcohol consumption than the control group, with no significant differences in the rate of decline between genders. The mechanisms underlying this reduction varied by gender; men showed a reduction in the quantity of alcohol consumed per drinking session, whereas women exhibited a considerable decline in the frequency of their drinking sessions.

These findings highlight gender-specific differences in the process of reducing alcohol consumption through nonalcoholic beverage alternatives. Consequently, gender-tailored strategies are deemed crucial in addressing the health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

This study was conducted jointly with Asahi Breweries, LTD., which provided funding.

Original Paper

Title of original paper:
Gender differences in changes in alcohol consumption achieved by free provision of non-alcoholic beverages: a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial
BMC Public Health


Associate Professor YOSHIMOTO Hisashi
Institute of Medicine, University of Tsukuba

Assistant Professor DOBASHI Shohei
Institute of Health and Sports Science, University of Tsukuba, Japan.

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