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Denmark: Many feel pressured to drink alcohol

Many feel pressured to drink alcohol
Jette Jul Bruun

24.04.2024 - Both the very young and adults experience pressure to drink alcohol in the company of friends and family. It is far from always the desire for beer or wine that leads the population to drink. This is shown by a comprehensive population survey conducted by YouGov for TrygFonden.

In the survey, 25 percent respond that they sometimes drink alcohol with their friends solely because it is expected, and not because they want to. This is 5 percentage points more than when TrygFonden asked the same question in 2016. Similarly, 22 percent say that their alcohol consumption at family parties is due to expectation rather than desire – an increase of 6 percentage points since 2016. The pressure to drink alcohol at social gatherings is problematic, believes Jette Jul Bruun, the deputy director at TrygFonden.

"It shows that we still have a lot of work to do regarding the alcohol culture in Denmark. No one should feel pressured to drink alcohol. If there is something positive to say about the numbers, it is that they can also be read as an expression of more people becoming aware that their alcohol intake is not always driven by desire. This realization can be a step towards action," she says.

Alcohol plays a big role for students The pressure to drink is also significantly found in youth education, shows TrygFonden's survey. It is seen by the fact that 58 percent of respondents aged 18–34 say it is difficult to be part of the social community in an education if one does not drink alcohol. "It is an alarmingly high number. In a time when there is a lot of focus on diversity, it is striking that the experience among so many young people is that they need to drink alcohol to be part of the community. Apparently, the individual's free choice does not quite apply when it comes to beer and vodka. This should be something that we collectively work to change," says Jette Jul Bruun from TrygFonden.


The most – and least – acceptable reasons for not drinking alcohol Driving (85 pct.) Pregnancy and family planning (81 pct.) Having an alcohol problem (73 pct.) Having to work afterwards (66 pct.) Not being able to tolerate it (63 pct.) Religion (57 pct.) Needing to be with children/young people (56 pct.) Lack of desire (56 pct.) Being unhealthy (53 pct.) Engaging in sports (51 pct.) Tiredness (42 pct.) Being fattening (37 pct.) Data is sourced from TrygFonden’s survey on the population's attitudes toward alcohol, based on a questionnaire conducted by YouGov among 5,020 citizens in Denmark aged 18 – 80 years during the period from 1 November to 11 December 2023. The question asked was, "What reasons for not drinking alcohol do you think are acceptable in society?".

Source: TrygFonden

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Yukia Nanilas
Yukia Nanilas
May 09
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

 I've learned the hard way that it's almost always the other person's fault amanda the adventurer

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