Budweiser: King of the ER?
You don’t need me to tell you that alcohol can play a major role in personal injury and other medical emergencies. Whether it’s drinking to excess or swearing to god that riding down the stairs in a laundry basket couldn’t go wrong, a lot of people end up in the ER every year due to alcohol abuse.
So which brand of beer is most popular among those injured persons surveyed? Budweiser.
Since a wide variety of questions regarding alcohol, marketing, personal injury and the possible links between them still go unanswered, a pilot study was performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in an attempt to draw more concrete conclusions.
Hopkins researchers surveyed ER patients who had been drinking and found that Budweiser is the number one brand consumed. After that, Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice, Bud Light and a discount vodka called Barton’s.
To put that in perspective, Budweiser dominates 9.1 percent of the national beer market, but represents a whopping 15 percent of ER patients who were there for consuming alcohol. For more perspective, Steel Reserve had a close 14.7 percent of the ER, but only.8 percent of the national beer market.
King Cobra is only 2.4 percent of the beer market, but 46 percent of the beer consumed by ER patients.
This seems to suggest that some products directly marketed to certain demographics are tied to higher risk, according to Traci Toomey, the director of the University of Minnesota’s alcohol epidemiology program (she was not involved in the study).
“So we might want to put some controls on certain products if we find they are tied to greater risk. But how they are marketed and priced is critical information and that has been very hard to study,” she said.
Though the study’s authors were reluctant to draw conclusions about alcohol advertising, they said that the implications of the pilot study prove that such a link could be established with broader research, despite pushback from the Federal Trade Commission and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Have you ever wound up in the ER after drinking Budweiser?