Beer Companies Profiting at Public’s Expense
One News Now
October 17, 2013
News of the increase in beer sales was reported earlier this month, with craft and specialty beers contributing to the spike. Beer sales had been on the decline in recent years.
Dr. Mark Creech, president of the American Council on Alcohol Problems, says that a change in laws regulating alcohol content have boosted beer sales.
“In order to fuel growth for the craft and specialty beer industry, numerous states across the country have actually changed the laws that previously kept the alcoholic beverage content of a malt beverage within the level of three to six percent,” he explains. “Since states have ‘popped the cap’ on the amount of alcohol that can be contained in these brews, craft beers in some states have alcohol content as high or higher than 18 percent.
Creech adds that addiction experts have warned that these particular malt beverages are most dangerous for underage drinkers, a demographic group that has been found to binge drink.
“Advertising is also driving greater sales for the beer industry, especially among youth,” he says. “But current alcohol advertising is self-regulated by the industry and a University of Connecticut study that came out in August shows that between 35 percent and 74 percent of the ads had violations.”
Ads found to have the most violations included content that appealed to youth, and associated beer drinking with social success and sexual attractiveness.
When you put all these dynamics together, Creech says it means big profits for the malt beverage industry that come, unfortunately, at the expense of the public’s health.
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