Danes know they drink too much, study says

Majority call for change in alcohol culture, but say it is their neighbour that has a problem

Six out of 10 people polled by Voxmeter on behalf of the social aid organisation Blue Cross believe that there should be changes in Denmark’s alcohol culture. Respondents were asked if Danes needed to drink less, and 60 percent said yes.

Blue Cross head Christian Bjerre said that the poll reveals that the public wants to see changes in a culture where drunkenness is often the norm.

“In Denmark, one can almost get the feeling that you can only have fun with copious amounts of alcohol,” Bjerre told Jyllands-Posten. “They have a different approach in southern Europe where you drink alcohol in moderation and have a negative view of being drunk.”

Bjerre said that the social consequences of alcohol abuse are great for both the individual and society and he wanted to see alcohol in Denmark become something that people enjoy rather than abuse. 

I’m ok, but that guy next door is a sot!
At the Center for Alcohol and Drug Research at Aarhus University, researcher Karen Elmeland said that people often think that someone else has a drinking problem.

“If you ask if alcohol use in general should drop, most will say yes, but if you ask if they themselves should cut back, you’ll get a different answer,” Elmeland told Jyllands-Posten.

Elmeland said that alcohol consumption has been declining in recent years. Every Dane over 14 drinks an average of 11.1 litres of pure alcohol per year, which is lower than the over 12 litres annually that people drank in the 90s when.

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Elmeland did not agree that the southern European approach to alcohol would work in Denmark.

“Since the 60s we have had a mixed culture where we sometimes drink ourselves drunk and sometimes drink in moderation,” she said.