April 17, 2024

Economic Hardship Spurs Decline in Alcohol Consumption, Offers Health Benefits



Medical experts suggest that the economic hardship in Nigeria leading to a reduction in alcohol consumption could have positive implications for the nation’s health. Physicians emphasize the potential decrease in the risk of non-communicable diseases among Nigerians due to the decline in alcohol intake.


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), non-communicable diseases accounted for 27% of deaths in Nigeria in 2019. The reduction in alcohol (beer) consumption is attributed to rising prices, making these beverages unaffordable for many Nigerians who are now prioritizing essential needs.


The Nigerian Breweries Plc. reported a significant drop in profit margins due to the economic challenges, with citizens finding it difficult to afford beer. Medical experts welcome this reduction in alcohol consumption, stating that it can positively impact individuals with a history of cardiovascular diseases.


Professor Olufemi Fasanmade from the University of Lagos supports the reduction, suggesting that imposing higher taxes on harmful beverages could discourage consumption. He acknowledges the economic implications for manufacturers but emphasizes the potential health benefits.


Professor Tanimola Akande from the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital echoes the sentiment, highlighting the health benefits of reduced alcohol consumption. He notes the connection between alcohol consumption and noncommunicable diseases, emphasizing that a decline in alcohol intake could alleviate the disease burden.


Experts emphasize that alcohol consumption is linked to various health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, and weakened immune systems. The economic challenges in Nigeria have led individuals to reconsider their spending, with some opting for more essential purchases than alcoholic beverages.


Individuals interviewed express a shift in their habits, citing the current economic conditions as a reason to be more mindful of spending. While some have completely stopped or reduced their alcohol intake, others see it as a time to prioritize essential needs over non-essential expenditures.


The decline in alcohol consumption due to economic challenges may have unintended health benefits, contributing to a potential reduction in the prevalence of diseases associated with excessive alcohol intake. As Nigerians adapt to economic hardships, lifestyle changes could have far-reaching effects on public health.

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