A study conducted by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Institute (DOST-FNRI) shows that more than half of Pinoy adults consume large quantities of alcohol.
As the proposed tax hikes on alcohol is set to be debated in Congress, Dr. Imelda Agdeppa, DOST-FNRI assistant scientist stated that 55.7% of the country’s population are binge drinkers, based on the 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS).
During her presentation of Unified Actions to Fight Malnutrition at the National Convention, she said the study sought to determine the nutrition situation of Filipinos.
Moreover, Agdeppa also found high physical inactivity of the Filipino adults — their number increased from 42.5% in the 2015 ENNS to 42.7%. However, the 0.2 increase was seen to conform with the yearly increase from 2015 to 2018 of 0.07%.
“The statistics show they are prevalent. Physical inactivity, very prevalent,” she indicated.
The “binge drinking” level of both men and women is defined as the intake of five or more drinks in a row of men and four or more of women.
64.4% of Filipino males are currently among the binge drinkers, while 31% of females. The respondents were those who drank alcoholic beverages in the past 30 days prior to the study.
“It’s increasing among (the) adult population,” Agdeppa told The Philippine Star at the national summit in Silang Cavite.
Nevertheless, the total number of adult smokers is small but steady downtrend. Agdappa added that the 2018 ENNS found that more youths were smoking — some are as young as 10 years old.
Young smokers aged 10-12 years old at 0.1%, while aged 13-15 were at 1.8%. She compared the result from 2015 ENNS, wherein the figure for aged 10-12 was 0.8%.
“As early as 10 years old (they start smoking). It’s very alarming. It’s .8 percent. What’s .8 of the 10-year old population, it’s also a million, right?” she said. “It’s very alarming.”
“Coupled with drinking–binge drinking–and smoking, where are we headed?” she asked.
Therefore, Sin Tax Coalition said it will continue to push for higher tariff in alcohol products amidst House of Representatives’ plans to lower liquor tax.
“We need to push for higher sin taxes for alcohol due to a new scientific study in the medical journal Lancet which shows that in 2016 nearly three million deaths globally were attributed to alcohol use,” said Anthony Leachon, Sin Tax Coalition physician and convenor.