An evaluation of the volume and concentration of alcoholic beverages offered for sale in Port Harcourt, South-South Nigeria
Background: One of the strategies for tackling alcohol- related problem is education and persuasion on how to drink alcohol in moderation. This is often facilitated by the introduction of a standard alcoholic drink measure, and a recommended daily alcohol consumption limit. The objective of this study was to evaluate the volume and alcohol concentration of alcoholic beverages offered for sale in Port Harcourt, with a view to establishing their suitability in the growing effort to achieve moderation in alcohol intake.
Methods: The study was carried out in ten beer bars in various parts of Port Harcourt, using a descriptive cross- sectional study design. Data collection was done using a semi-structured questionnaire, and field observations. The questionnaires were administered on the proprietors of the beer bars and their attendants, while the field observations were carried out using a checklist.
Results: A total of eight different brands of industrial beer were most commonly offered for sale. All the brands were in 600ml bottles, except the stout variety that also had a smaller 330ml bottle. The alcoholic content of the brands ranged from 4.7% to the 7.5%, while the alcohol concentration per bottle ranged from 19.3g to 35.6g. All the brands had their alcoholic contents written on their labels, but none had any health warning. Only two out of the ten proprietors were aware of the Liquor licensing law, but none obtained a license before opening their businesses.
Conclusions: The alcoholic content of the standard bottle of beer sold in Port Harcourt is high. A legislation that would restrict beer bottles to a 330ml capacity is therefore recommended.
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