spiritsNEWS December 2023

Belgium – “You Do You” campaign targeting young adults

Social pressure increases the risk of excessive drinking among young Belgians. Vinum Et Spiritus Belgium initiated a campaign urging them to respect their individual boundaries and those of their peers. A Vinum Et Spiritus study found that 34% of Belgians aged 18 to 24 have consumed more alcohol than intended, with 13% doing so regularly. Group influence significantly contributes to this behaviour, prompting the federation to raise awareness through its social media campaign “You Do You”.

While a majority of young Belgians consume alcohol responsibly, this diminishes in social settings. Among 300 surveyed Belgians aged 18 to 24, 34% admitted to drinking more due to peer influence, a key factor in binge drinking. Binge drinking involves consuming four to six units of alcohol within two hours to quickly attain intoxication, a habit observed in over half (51%) of respondents, with 11% doing so weekly. Notably, 41% of young men increase their alcohol intake due to peer encouragement compared to 29% of women, with a similar trend in influencing others: 29% of young men encourage drinking compared to 17% of women.

Beer remains the most favoured alcoholic beverage among young Belgians (69%), followed by cocktails (54%) and wine (51%), while spirits lag way behind at 17%. Vinum Et Spiritus aims to empower youth to assert their limits and resist societal pressure through their campaign. Recognizing that group dynamics often drive excessive drinking, the federation seeks to address this issue not only through social media but also by involving youth movements, organizations, schools, and universities to destigmatize the topic.

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