Dr. Imelda Agdeppa, DOST-FNRI assistant scientist, said the 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS) found that 55.7 percent of the population are engaged in binge drinking.
Hoang Dinh Nam/File
Survey: More than half of Pinoy adults are binge drinkers
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - August 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With proposed tax hikes on alcohol products set to be debated by Congress, more than half of the country’s adult population were found to be consuming large quantities of alcohol, a study by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Institute (DOST-FNRI) found.

Dr. Imelda Agdeppa, DOST-FNRI assistant scientist, said the 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS) found that 55.7 percent of the population are engaged in binge drinking.

In her presentation at the National Convention to take Unified Actions to Fight Malnutrition, Agdeppa said that the survey, which sought to determine the
nutrition situation of Filipinos, had also found that physical inactivity was high.

Physically inactive Filipino adults comprised 42.7 percent, showing a minuscule increase from 42.5 percent in the 2015 ENNS. However, the .2 percent increase was seen to correspond to a 0.07 percent increase yearly from 2015 to 2018.

“The statistics show they are prevalent. Physical inactivity, very prevalent,” she pointed out.

Agdeppa explained both sections of men and women are at the “binge drinking” level, which was defined by the FNRI as the consumption of five or more standard drinks in a row for men, or four or more standard drinks in a row for women.

Binge drinking among currently drinking adult Filipino males was at 64.4 percent, while it was 31 percent for females. Current drinkers are defined as those “drinking alcoholic beverages in the past 30 days” prior to the study.

“It’s increasing among (the) adult population,” Agdeppa told The STAR on the sidelines of the national summit in Silang, Cavite.

The number of smokers among adults, meanwhile, showed a small but steady downtrend. She noted that the 2018 ENNS found more youths were smoking, some as young as 10 years old.

In the 2018 ENNS, the number of smokers aged 10 to 12 years old was at .1 percent, but those aged 13 to 15 were 1.8 percent. She noted that in the 2015 ENNS, the figure for smokers aged 10 to 12 was .8 percent.

“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 said.

At this rate, the Sin Tax Coalition yesterday said it will continue to push for higher tariff on alcohol products amid plans of the House of Representatives for 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, a physician and the group’s convenor. – With Sheila Crisostomo

2018 EXPANDED NATIONAL NUTRITION SURVEY ALCOHOL BINGE DRINKING DOST-FNRI SMOKING
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