Reasons for drinking wine and other beverages: comparison across motives in older adults

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Objectives: Health as a positive reason for drinking wine (eg, antioxidant content) has scant empirical data to inform policy. This study attempted to examine that motive by including health as one of six motives for drinking, along with measures of problem drinking (the Cut-down, Annoyed, Guilty, Eye-opener [CAGE] questionnaire) in an older adult population.Design: Four drinking motives (enhancement, coping, social, and conformity), plus taste and health were included within a larger national telephone survey on drinking behaviors. We also recorded beverage preference.Results: In this analysis, 705 participants drank a preferred beverage. Taste was the most highly endorsed motive. Just under one quarter of the sample endorsed health as a positive reason for drinking. After controlling for age, sex, and preferred alcoholic beverage, the internal psychological motives of enhancement and coping predicted CAGE scores, but external motives did not. Believing that alcohol is healthy was a negative predictor of CAGE scores. Our results showed a different pattern to those with younger drinkers reported in previous research. Our older group was less likely to drink for social reasons and internal motives were predictive of CAGE scores.Conclusion: A motives-based approach to managing problem drinking will need to take account of a wider range of age-related motives. Based on the current data, there is little reason to suspect drinking wine for health reasons is associated with potential problem drinking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Wine Research
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


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