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April 18, 2014

DoH commissions survey on alcohol and obesity

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By Lloyd Mudiwa.

The Department of Health has commissioned an All-Ireland knowledge, attitudes and beliefs survey with respect to the public health issues of alcohol and obesity, details of which are to be kept from the drinks industry, Irish Medical Times has learned.

Hawkins House has mandated the Health Research Board (HRB) to hire a market research company to conduct the survey, requiring a minimum sample of 1,000 respondents with an age and gender quota representative of the current adult population to a “very tight deadline”.

The HRB stressed that all interested bidders must disclose if they work with the alcohol industry and give a written undertaking not to disclose any information provided to them by the HRB to members of this industry or those working in association with the industry.

“We are providing a one-week period for the completion of the proposals. As there are standard methodologies for the completion of such market research surveys, the HRB are looking for a company with experience of doing such surveys, and the HRB are working to a very tight deadline,” the Board said.

The Board added that market research, which needed to be completed in a month’s time (by June 7), was required to measure knowledge of, attitudes to, and beliefs around the purchasing and consumption of alcohol, to gauge attitudes to the sale and marketing of alcohol, attitudes to current or possible responses to the harm caused by alcohol and attitudes to measures to address obesity.

A face-to-face questionnaire will be administered, using standard techniques, to a nationally-representative sample of the population, which is of adequate size and represents viewpoints across age, gender and urban-rural divides.

lloyd.mudiwa@imt.ie