december 2023

Change and stability in British drinking practices and culture between 2009 and 2019: A longitudinal latent class analysis of drinking occasions

RATIONALE: Theories of practice can support understanding of health-related behaviours, but few studies use quantitative methods to understand time-trends in practices. This paper describes changes in the prevalence and performance of alcohol drinking practices in Great Britain between 2009 and 2019.

METHODS: Latent class analyses of annual cross-sectional data collected between 2009 and 2019. The dataset come from a one-week retrospective diary survey of adults resident in Great Britain. It contains 604,578 drinking occasions reported by 213,470 adults (18+) who consumed alcohol in the diary-week. The measures describe occasion characteristics including companions, location, motivation, timings, accompanying activities and alcohol consumed. We estimate separate latent class models for each year and for off-trade only (e.g. home), on-trade only (e.g. bar) and mixed-trade occasions.

RESULTS: We identified fifteen practices; four off-trade only, eight on-trade only and three mixed-trade. The prevalence of practices was largely stable over time except for shifts away from drinking with a partner and towards drinking alone in the off-trade, and shifts away from Big nights out and towards other forms of heavy drinking in the on-trade. We identified five key trends in the performance of practices: (i) spirits increasingly replaced wine as the main beverage consumed in occasions; (ii) home-drinking moved away from routinised wine-drinking with meals on weekdays and towards spirits-drinking on weekends; (iii) the Male friends at the pub practice changed less than other pub-drinking practices; (iv) Big nights out started later, often in nightclubs, and involved less pub-drinking or heavy drinking and (v) the meal-based and Going out with partner practice formats showed few changes over time.

CONCLUSION: Key recent trends in British drinking practices include a decline in routinised wine-drinking at home, a transformation of big nights out and a mixture of stability and change in pub- and meal-based practices.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Holmes J.; Sasso A.; Hernandez Alava M.; Stevely A. K.; Warde A.; Angus C.; Meier P. S.
  • Issue

    Periodical: SSM Popul Health - Volume: 24 - Edition: 20231104
  • Published Date

    december 2023