According to a new study, Budweiser is the number one beer that leads to injuries that result in a visit to the ER. The study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that 15 percent of those who wind up in the ER due to alcohol fueled injuries were partaking of Budweiser. Steel Reserve Malt Liquor came in second with 14.7 percent. Then comes Colt 45 (also a malt liquor), Bud Ice (a malt liquor), Bud Light, and Barton’s, a cheap Vodka.
Researchers believe that due to Budweiser’s relatively high alcohol content, 5 percent, overconsumption of the beverage is nearly as likely to lead to injury as overconsumption of Malt liquor beverages which are also very high in alcohol content. Budweiser contains the highest percentage of alcohol among the nation’s five top selling beers.
David Jernigan, director of The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the study’s lead author, reveals that recent studies show nearly one third of visits to Level 1 trauma centers were alcohol related. In a press release he stated, “Understanding the relationship between alcohol brands and their connection to injury may help guide policy makers in considering taxation and physical availability of different types of alcohol given the harms associated with them.”
Researchers talked to patients who visited the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s ER on Friday and Saturday nights between April 2010 and June 2011. 105 patients admitted to drinking before the injury that led to their visit. 15 percent of those patients admitted to drinking Budweiser before their injuries. 9 percent of the American population drinks Budweiser.
Jemigan wants to reiterate the need for more research, but is glad that the study has proved to the Federal Trade Commission that research in this area is possible. Jemigan and the other researchers want to expand the study to include interviews from patients from ERs in other cities. The study was published in the August 1st issue of Substance Use and Misuse.
The director of the University of Minnesota’s alcohol epidemiology program, Traci Toomey, views the results of the study as good news. She hopes that the data will lead to changes on how alcohol is marketed and who it is marketed to, “Some products are marketed to certain groups of people in our society, so we might want to put some controls on certain products if we find they are tied to greater risk. But how they are marketed and priced is critical information and that has been very hard to study.”
The researchers at Johns Hopkins say that this study reveals a need for better labeling on malt liquor beverages. They believe that the alcoholic content of the beverage needs to be clearly displayed and that the availability of malt liquor may need to be restricted. They have also suggested that a tax based on a beverages’ alcohol content could discourage people from drinking those beverages and perhaps prevent some injuries.
By Karen Walcott