Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Predictors of and reasons for attempts to reduce alcohol intake: A population survey of adults in England

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Eileen KanerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 Beard etal. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Objective This study aimed to assess the predictors among high-risk drinkers in England of attempts to reduce alcohol consumption, the reasons given for these attempts and the association between the various reasons and alcohol consumption. Method Data came from 2,800 high-risk drinkers taking part in the Alcohol Toolkit Study (ATS) between March 2014 and November 2016 who were attempting to reduce their alcohol consumption. Participants completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and were asked questions regarding their socio-demographic characteristics, attempts to cut down and reasons for doing so. Results Those cutting down were significantly older (OR 1.01, p< 0.001), were more likely to be female (OR 1.32, p< 0.05), had higher AUDIT-C scores (OR 1.12, p< 0. 001), were less likely to be of white ethnicity (OR 0.64, p< 0.001), and were more likely to reside in the South of England (OR 1.34, p< 0.001). They were also more likely to be of higher occupationally- based social-grades (p< 0.001). The main reported reasons for reducing consumption were: fitness (22.5%), weight loss (20.4%), future health (20.4%), advice from a health-care professional (7.9%) and cost (7.6%). Those reporting the followings reasons for cutting down had higher AUDIT-C scores than those who did not report these reasons: a concern about further health problems (Β 0.20, p< 0.05), advice from a doctor/health worker (Β 0.38, p< 0.05), that drinking was too expensive (Β 0.42, p< 0.01) and detoxification (Β 0.42, p< 0.01). Lower AUDIT-C scores were noted among those who reported that they knew someone who was cutting down (Β -0.67, p< 0.05), that there was no reason (Β -0.36, p< 0.05), or they didn't know why they were cutting down (Β -0.25, p< 0.05).Conclusions Around a fifth of high-risk drinkers in England report trying to reduce their drinking, particularly older, high-socioeconomic female drinkers from the south of England. Attempts to cut down appear to be driven by a desire to improve health, advice from others and cutting down on the cost of drinking.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Beard E, Brown J, Kaner E, West R, Michie S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS One

Year: 2017

Volume: 12

Issue: 3

Online publication date: 09/03/2017

Acceptance date: 22/02/2017

Date deposited: 15/05/2017

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173458


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric