'What we think is more important than what we drink'

Middle-aged drinkers don't worry about the health effects of alcohol, but they do worry about appearing drunk

They might worry about appearing intoxicated, but middle-aged drinkers have few concerns about the health effects of alcohol, a study shows.

Their views on alcohol are more shaped by issues relating to drinking in an age-appropriate way and meeting their day-to-day responsibilities, according to the study's lead author Emma Muhlack.

“It is surprising that health does not strongly factor in the way that this group thinks about their drinking,” says Ms Muhlack, of the University of Adelaide's School of Public Health.

“When they do think about health, they use their own experiences as a benchmark (for example, what it feels like when you drink too much) rather than the guidelines handed down by health organisations.”

Drinking behaviour in this age group is influenced by factors such as respectability, gender and being in the company of others, the analysis of 13 studies —&nbsp