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Australians drinking less alcohol, figures show

Australians are drinking less alcohol, with beer consumption plunging to a 65-year low, according to the latest national statistics.

Australia beer 9 27 2011Enlarge
An empty can of Foster's Lager (L) adorns the wall next to cans of other beers at the Australian Hotel in Sydney on September 23, 2011. (Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images)

Australians are drinking less alcohol, with beer consumption plunging to a 65-year low, according to the latest national statistics.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, reported that consumption fell for the first time in 10 years, and that for the first time in about two decades, the nation's wine intake has dipped slightly.

According to the Brisbane Times, the Aussie "drift towards sobriety may reflect the caution of an ageing population" and impact of government ad campaigns highlighting the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.

However, on the health downside, while Australians have been turning away from beer and wine, they have developed a taste for spirits, according to The Courier-Mail.

The sale of spirits increased by 4.8 per cent, with spirits and pre-mixed drinks making up 20 percent of all alcohol sales.

Fifty years ago, beer made up 76 percent of Aussie alcohol consumption.

And Australians are still drinking more than recommended, Fairfax cited the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education as saying.

On average, each Australian over the age of 15 drank 10 liters of pure alcohol last year, or on average 2.2 standard drinks a day, slightly above the national healthy drinking guidelines.

Fairfax also quoted Michael Moore, the chief executive of the Public Health Association of Australia, as saying the overall downward trend may reflect more careful behavior by baby boomers who drink less because they want to be able to drive home, while young people are far less likely to drink if they are going to drive.

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