Sheffield Alcohol Research Group - latest news and activities


November 2018

Last Orders: Why are young people drinking less?

Y-DiD eventResearch by the Y-Did research project was showcased at an ESRC Festival of the Social Sciences event at The Light Cinema, Sheffield, 3 rd and 4 th November 2018.

Y-Did explores the nature and drivers of the recent decline in youth alcohol consumption in England. As well as a super-sized visual overview of the project, we created five interactive exhibits inviting the public to reflect upon this important twenty-first century trend:

  • How much? We filled milk bottles with brightly coloured liquid to give a visual of a) what
  • young people used to drink per week and b) what they drink per week now.
  • So what? An ‘advent calendar’ with lift up flaps detailing the risks of excessive drinking.
  • Where? We created a large ‘bingo board’ of different locations (the park, home, pub/bar,
  • club etc.) and invited people to put a coloured sticker on a) where they think young people
  • used to drink alcohol and b) where they drink alcohol now.
  • What? A ‘wall of circles’ - we invited people (young and old) to sketch their ideas about how
  • young people spend their time.
  • Why? Counter containers invited people to ‘vote’ for different reasons why young people
  • might be drinking less (or propose their own reasons).

So, what do the people of Sheffield think are the main reasons why young people are drinking less
alcohol? At the final count, the top three reasons were:

  1. Young people are aware of the health risks (106 votes)
  2. They’re busy on social media or gaming (78 votes)
  3. They can’t afford to buy it (57 votes); They’re taking drugs instead (57 votes)

A massive thank you to our wonderful MDH Student Ambassadors, Tasha Eccles, Sarah Joseph,
Demelza Emmerton and Conal Gallagher for facilitating the event so ably. The brilliant visuals were
created by Rosanna Traina, freelance illustrator, information designer and researcher at The Helen
Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art, London.

You can follow updates from the project via Twitter @Y_DiDshef. For further details about the
event, contact Hannah Fairbrother:

October 2018

SARG coordinates open letter to Public Health England

Amid concerns over Public Health England's (PHE) plans to engage with the alcohol industry and its recently launched collaboration with Drinkaware, a charity funded primarily by the alcohol industry, the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group coordinated an open letter to PHE's Chief Executive, Duncan Selbie.

The letter is signed by 332 UK-based public health academics and argues that:"Such partnerships threaten the reputation of PHE. They also put at risk our confidence in PHE’s commitment to the highest scientific standards and the promotion of policy advice informed by the best available evidence."

To download the letter, including the full list of signatories, click here.

September 2018

SARG publish new report on decline in Youth Drinking

Youth Drinking in DeclineCurrent data show a sharp decline in youth drinking across all age groups over the last 15 years. Young people are now less likely to drink and, if they do drink, they start doing so later, drink less often and consume smaller amounts.

This report, published by SARG team members John Holmes and Melissa Oldham, is part of a new project funded by the Wellcome Trust to examine and explain the decline in youth drinking.

It analysed data from the 1988-2016 Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use amongst Young People in England surveys and the 2001-2016 Health Surveys for England. Both are nationally-representative surveys of young people in England and cover respondents aged between eight and 24.

The report shows that in 2002, 61 per cent of 11-15 year-olds had previously consumed a full alcoholic drink but this dropped to 44 per cent by 2016. For 8-12 year-olds, this fell from 25 per cent to just four percent.

Click here to download the report (.pdf file)

June 2018

SARG contribute to major new report on tobacco dependency

Hiding in Plain Sight reportLed by Duncan Gillespie and Laura Webster, members of the SARG team contributed high-level research to a major new report commissioned and published by the Royal Society of Physicians.  

Hiding in plain sight: Treating tobacco dependency in the NHS addresses the harms and costs arising from smoking in the patients we see every day, and argues for a new approach to treating their addiction.

Click here to download the report.

May 2018

SARG travel to Thailand to present at the 44th Annual KBS Meeting

Fun RunThe team travelled en masse to the 44th Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium of the
Kettil Bruun Society hosted in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 28 May to 4 June.  

Eleven members of SARG presented their latest research at the conference, and two of them - Laura Webster and Naomi Gibbs - came in the top tier of the Fun Run.  Well done all round!

SARG news and activities archive: 2017 |  2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011