tax term image

Alcohol Use

Harmful use of alcohol is a leading driver of disease burden in the US and globally, increasing the risk of cancer, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular disease, neurological and psychiatric disorders, infertility, and fetal damage. It is also implicated in motor vehicle accidents, and accidents and injuries at home and work.

Although low levels of alcohol use can provide great pleasure, harmful alcohol use is a significant risk to the health and productivity of US adults.

It is estimated that 18 million people struggle with alcoholism in the US, yet only 11 percent of people with alcohol dependence receive the recommended care. In the US, 9 percent of workers are heavy users of alcohol and 2 percent of employees attend work under the influence of alcohol at least once in a one-year period. In addition, 2 percent of employees use alcohol at least once before reporting to work and 7 percent use alcohol at least once during the work day (with nearly 40 percent of these individuals doing so monthly or more).

The Vitality Institute’s aim is to identify, evaluate, and promote evidence-based strategies to address harmful use of alcohol. This includes strategies that prevent individuals who currently have low levels of alcohol use from increasing their use, and assisting those who consume alcohol at harmful levels to reduce it.

The Evidence

From the Blog

Redefining the unacceptable: Making prevention of disease and promotion of health priorities

Blog post is based on Derek Yach’s TEDx talk in Monte Carlo on November 26, 2016 Governments and businesses spend more than 95% of healthcare costs responding to the consequences of neglected disease prevention and... More »

Derek Yach | Nov 26, 2016
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From the Blog

Healthy Aging in Action: The Surgeon General’s National Prevention Strategy for Older Adults

The US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has released new recommendations to promote healthy aging in later life: “Healthy Aging in Action: Advancing the National Prevention Strategy”. The report highlights governmental policies and programs that... More »

Derek Yach & Gillian Christie | Nov 17, 2016
, , , , , , , , ,

From the Blog

Today is World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day (October 10) calls attention to the continuing need for education, awareness, and advocacy on mental health. First celebrated in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health, World Mental Health Day provides an opportunity... More »

Cother Hajat & Cary Conway | Oct 10, 2016
, , , , , , , , ,

From the Blog

Protecting Heart Health on World Heart Day

Today is World Heart Day 2016, an annual event established to educate people on heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year.... More »

Cary Conway | Sep 29, 2016
, , , , , , , ,

From the Blog

Accelerating Cancer Prevention

The World Health Organization estimates that the number of new cancer cases will rise by 70% over the next two decades. While the dialogue on cancer is too often on treatment, about a third of... More »

Derek Yach & Gillian Christie | Sep 22, 2016
, , , , , ,

From the Blog

Communicating Non-communicable Diseases: From 3Four50 to 4Four60

In 2003, the Oxford Health Alliance (OHA) proposed 3Four50 to effectively communicate the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The idea was simple: three risk factors (unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and tobacco use) led to four... More »

Cheryl Jacobs & Gillian Christie | Aug 25, 2016
, , , , , , ,

Do Workplace Health Promotion (Wellness) Programs Work?

Authors: Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD; Henke, Rachel Mosher PhD; Tabrizi, Maryam PhD, MS; Pelletier, Kenneth R. PhD, MD (hc); Loeppke, Ron MD, MPH; Ballard, David W. PsyD, MBA; Grossmeier, Jessica PhD, MPH; Anderson, David R.... More »

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (JOEM) | September 2014

New Opportunities in the Changing Landscape of Prevention

By Derek Yach and Chris Calitz The focus of medical research has historically been on curative medicine, yielding better drugs, medical devices, and clinical procedures. Prevention science—the systematic application of scientific methods to the causes... More »

JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) | July 17, 2014

Improving Support for Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention: Summary of Key Messages from Reports of the Institute of Medicine

Leigh Carroll and Bridget B. Kelly, Editors   This paper was commissioned by the Vitality Institute, an organization with a mission to advance knowledge about the evolving science and art of chronic disease prevention and... More »

Institute of Medicine (IOM) | June 18, 2014

The Effects of Obesity, Smoking, and Excessive Alcohol Intake on Healthcare Expenditure in a Comprehensive Medical Scheme

Background. Health risks such as tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and unhealthy body weight contribute to the development of chronic health problems. Objective. To estimate the associations of tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and obesity... More »

The South African Medical Journal | September 30, 2013