Publication Details

Jones, S. C., Barrie, L. & Robinson, L. (2012). Assessing alcohol consumption in older adults: Looking for a solution to inform evaluation of social marketing campaigns. In K. Kubacki & S. Rundle-Thiele (Eds.), 2012 International social marketing conference (ISM): conference proceedings (pp. 105-109). Brisbane, Queensland: Department of Marketing, Griffith University.


Alcohol consumption in older people presents unique challenges due to changes in body composition, co-morbid conditions and associated mediations, as well as a reduction in metabolic capacity. As such, this generation has been identified as an at-risk group by the NHRMC (NHRMC, 2011). For the purpose of this paper "older" adults are individuals aged 65 years and over. The NHMRC produced guidelines for minimising the risks associated with alcohol consumption in 2001 (NHMRC, 2001). While the 2001 NHMRC guidelines did not provide specific recommendations regarding levels of consumption for older people the revised 2009 guidelines recommend, 'Older people are advised to consult with their health professionals about the most appropriate level of drinking for their health' (NHMRC, 2009). Alcohol consumption among the elderly has received considerably less attention than has consumption in young people (St John, 2010); despite the fact that one-third of the alcohol-attributable burden of disease worldwide is experienced by people aged 45 and over (Rehm et al., 2009). Thus, there is a need for social marketing campaigns targeting this age group - including those designed to increase their knowledge of standard drinks, raise their awareness of the risks of alcohol consumption for older adults, and to encourage them - where indicated - to reduce their alcohol consumption.