National

Senior survey says half of men, quarter of women drink too much

Kyodo

Around half of men 65 and older who drink alcoholic beverages disregard the government’s health guidelines, which recommend consuming, for example, just one 500-ml can of beer per day, a health ministry survey showed Sunday.

About 25 percent of women in the same age bracket also drink more than the advised level, the survey said.

A 500-ml beer contains the equivalent of 20 g of alcohol, which basically represents the government’s threshold.

The ministry research group, led by Tsukuba University professor Nanako Tamiya, said about 5 percent of male drinkers 65 or older drink three times the daily level stated in the government guidelines.

The researchers said the seniors who drink more than advised are probably unaware of the appropriate levels.

“We can’t ask elderly people not to drink, but we can ask them to be careful and not drink too much,” said Hirokazu Tachikawa, a member of the research team and an associate professor at Tsukuba University.

The survey was based on an analysis of National Livelihood Survey data from fiscal 2013, covering around 150,000 senior citizens.