Congratulations to Dr Natacha Carragher on being awarded the prestigious 2014 Epidemiology & Public Health Young Epidemiologist Prize from the Royal Society of Medicine, UK.
Dr Carragher was awarded this prize for her work with Professor Anthony Shakeshaft (NDARC), Professor Christopher Doran (Hunter Medical Research Institute) and Dr Joshua Byrnes (Griffith University) in developing and evaluating an alcohol policy assessment tool.
Their Toolkit for Evaluating Alcohol policy Stringency and Enforcement (TEASE-16) assesses the adequacy of national policies aimed at reducing alcohol consumption and related problems, and is designed to be used by international and national regulatory bodies and policy-makers in guiding the design, implementation, evaluation and refinement of effective policies to reduce alcohol consumption and related problems.
The TEASE-16 is the first of its kind to comprehensively evaluate levels of stringency and enforcement of alcohol policies and to relate the resultant alcohol policy scores to corresponding income-adjusted per capita consumption estimates.
A paper, demonstrating the application of this tool to countries in the Western Pacific Region of the World Health Organisation, is published in the current issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation. Of the countries evaluated, those with the highest policy scores (indicating relatively robust alcohol policies) had the lowest alcohol consumption. Australia had the highest overall rating but was weak on policies such as advertising, indicating that we can further reduce risky drinking by tightening up on the weaker policies.