Although a recent research report
in UK indicates over half the people trashing the concept
of putting health warning on the bottles of wine or spirits,
it may well be worth trying in India by the Health Minister
Ramadoss rather than using coercive techniques to curb the
excessive use of alcohol in India.
The research, based on the feedback from
961 internet using adults, found that only 40% of men think
health warnings are a good idea whereas 49% women support
While 36% of women believe that these labels
will make them think about how much they drink, only 30%
men feel that way.
Recently there has been a lot of media
coverage reporting on the indiscriminate and binge drinking
of women in UK. 'The study suggests that women are clearly
more open to these new proposed labels," says Mathilde
Dudouitm, a senior research analyst for the international
research conducting organisation, Mintel.
"For women at least, this new initiative
could well be a step in the right direction to combat excessive
drinking. However, men clearly are much more set in their
ways when it comes to what they drink, and it will be harder
to convince them to change their habits."
However, the research, reported in Harpers,
found that two in five men (44%) would find it useful to
know the number of units they are getting through, compared
to over half of women (53%).
"The trend towards stronger drinks
and larger glasses means that Brits can often no longer
be sure how many units they are drinking.
"Without clear information, many
people will be unaware whether they are exceeding their
weekly alcohol intake, or whether they are still within
the safe drink drive limits after an evening out,"
The Government is planning to enforce a
law that will force all alcoholic drinks to carry health
warnings by the end of the year in a bid to tackle Britain's
binge drinking culture.
While many British are reducing the alcohol
intake as part of a healthier lifestyle, the amount of consumption
has remained the same during the past 5 years, showing that
those who drink, are drinking more, the research found.
The Union Health Ministry could carry out
a survey through IAPA or any independent agency and decide
on a national policy on educating about wines and alcohol
so that the consumption can be checked voluntarily by the
In any case, steps like giving warning
on the labels may be worth their while. Other co-ercive
methods should possibly be avoided.
The government of Delhi recently cleared
the Delhi Excise Bill 2007 in which it neither reduced the
legal drinking age to the realistic 21, nor made the announcement
of making Beer and Wine available in the supermarkets. These
could be the platforms available to the government where
one could be educated about the possible downside of excessive