Latest scientific news 28 October 2014

Cancer warning statement for alcoholic beverages?

An Australian study examined the acceptance of cancer warning statements for alcoholic beverages among drinkers.

There are increasing calls for warning labels to be placed on alcoholic beverages. Warning statements have been proposed to be an important form of providing information to the consumers. Studies evaluating the effectiveness of warning labels have concluded that significant behavioural changes have not occurred. Focus groups of Australian heavy alcohol drinkers suggested that warnings statements such as “alcohol increases your risk of cancer” may increase awareness in this population of the link between consumption of alcoholic beverages and the incidence of certain cancers.

It should be noted, however, that awareness of a risk does not necessarily change beliefs and behaviour as was alluded to in this publication.

Pettigrew S., Jongenelis M, Chikritzhs T, Slevin T, Pratt, IS, Glance D, Liang W, Developing cancer warning statements for alcoholic beverages, BMC Public Health 2014; 14(1):786.

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.

Contribution by our WIC expert Creina Stockley.