Ahead of one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, a majority of Danes said people should drink less. Photo: Colourbox
A majority of Danes think it’s time to curb the notorious drinking culture in Denmark, a country whose teenagers are found to consistently outdrink their European counterparts.
In a survey for Blue Cross Denmark, six out of ten respondents said that Danes should both drink less and change the way they consume alcohol.
Blue Cross’s secretary-general, Christian Bjerre, welcomed the results as a sign that Danes might change their approach to alcohol and focus on quality rather than quantity.
“In Denmark, you can get the feeling that you can only have fun with large amounts of alcohol. In southern Europe, there is a different approach where one drinks alcohol in moderation and looks negatively upon being drunk,” he told Ritzau.
But at Aarhus University’s Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, the poll results were greeted more sceptically.
“If you ask a general question about whether people should reduce their consumption, most will answer yes. But if you instead ask whether they think they should reduce their own personal consumption, then the answer is quite different,” researcher Karen Elmeland told Ritzau.
Elmeland said she couldn’t foresee Danes abandoning their drinking culture outright.
“Since the 1960s, we’ve had a blended culture in which we both drink until we are drunk and at other times drink in moderation,” she said.
She added that Danes’ drinking has fallen since the 1990s, when every Dane over the age of 14 drank an average of more than 12 litres of pure alcohol each year. That number is now at an average of 11.1 litres.