Wine in Lausanne, beer in Basel? In-depth evaluations of the consumption of alcoholic beverages in Switzerland based on the menuCH consumption study

Alcohol consumption is part of the dietary and lifestyle habits of many countries and populations worldwide. However, the type and quantity of alcoholic beverages consumed, as well as the context of consumption (e.g. time and place), vary greatly between cultures and countries. Until now, estimates of alcohol consumption in Switzerland have been based on alcohol tax revenues reported as alcohol volumes for the main alcoholic beverages. These data show a decline in alcohol consumption from 9.2 l to 7.7 l per person per year from 1999 to 2018, but little is known about the overall context of alcohol consumption, drinking patterns, and associated cultural and sociodemographic factors in Switzerland. The impact of alcohol consumption on health most likely depends not only on the amount and type of beverages but also on the consumption pattern and context, e.g., whether alcohol is consumed with or without food. In Switzerland, differences in mortality from cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers between the French-speaking and German-speaking parts of the country follow fairly closely the cultural habits of alcohol consumption. The average alcohol consumption is therefore not sufficient to describe the rather complex relationship between alcohol consumption and diseases such as cardiovascular diseases or even cancer. The National Consumption Study menuCH offers for the first time the possibility of an in-depth study on alcohol consumption based on a representative population from three language regions.