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Last updated at 15:07 BST, Monday, 23 July 2012

Alcohol sponsorship and sport

Summary

23 July 2012

British MPs on the cross-party Health Select Committee have examined the government's Alcohol Strategy. They concluded that a ban on sports-related advertising of alcohol products may be needed. Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, has been speaking to the BBC.

A person drinking

Alcohol misuse is estimated to cost the taxpayer £21bn every year

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(Extracts of his interview)
"I think the Health Select Committee report has been a very useful addition to the government's Alcohol Strategy… some very useful comments on advertising and I think emphasising that advertising does change behaviour, it does influence children, and it's therefore really important that the government goes further on advertising than they've done in the past. The Health Select Committee, for example, suggested that we look harder at what they do in France where there's a complete ban on broadcast advertising of alcohol products, there's a complete ban on sport sponsorship. So that would be a really helpful way forward for this country because advertising does make a difference for children. For example, Heineken is the official beer of the 2012 Olympics now what message does that send to children about the link between alcohol and sporting prowess?"

BBC Interviewer:
The committee also says there needs to be greater emphasis on the health impact of drinking alcohol not just anti-social behaviour. Why has this emphasis always been on anti-social behaviour and not on the health impact?

"I think everyone always finds it easier to talk about other people - those young people who are making trouble in our cities on Saturday night - rather than necessarily looking at their own consumption. We know that many people drink well above recommended safe limits; they don't make trouble in cities on Saturday night, they're doing so at home. It's this hidden drinking on a regular basis that leads to many of the chronic conditions we see in our hospitals every day of the year – cirrhosis of the liver, strokes, cancers that are strongly alcohol related and so on – so I think it's been a very useful change in emphasis."

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Vocabulary

strategy

plan of action

emphasising

giving importance

influence

have an effect on

goes further

does more

a complete ban

not allowed at all

prowess

skill and expertise

consumption

level of drinking

chronic

long lasting

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