Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Issue 4, pp 275–280 | Cite as

Alcohol Consumption: A Different Kind of Canadian Mosaic

  • Catherine ParadisEmail author
  • Andrée Demers
  • Elyse Picard
Quantitative Research



To determine the way Canadians consume alcohol beyond drinking amounts and to verify if the drinking act is similar across provinces given that, in Canada, alcohol policies come under provincial jurisdiction.


Subjects were 10,466 current drinkers (5,743 women and 4,723 men) aged 18 to 76 years, who participated in the GENACIS Canada study.


In Canada, there are three main patterns of consuming alcohol. Maritimers tend to drink more per occasion, report more binge drinking and largely prefer beer. In the Prairies, people tend to drink less, to drink less often during a meal and to favour spirits. Finally, drinkers from Québec, Ontario and British Columbia drink more often, drink wine more often, drink spirits less often, and drink more often during a meal than drinkers from the other provinces. The same patterns are observed in both sexes, although the differences across provinces are less pronounced among women.


Knowledge about these three drinking groups should be used to increase the legitimacy and effectiveness of alcohol policies in general.

Key words

Culture alcoholic beverages Canada gender 


Objectif: Cet article décrit de quelles manières les Canadiens consomment de l’alcool au-delà des quantités consommées. Étant donné qu’au Canada, les politiques relatives à l’alcool relèvent d’une juridiction provinciale, les profils individuels de consommation à travers les provinces sont présentés.

Méthodologie: Les sujets de cette étude sont 10 466 consommateurs d’alcool (5743 femmes et 4723 hommes), âgés entre 18 et 76 ans, qui ont participé à l’enquête GENACIS Canada.

Résultats: Au Canada, il existe trois grandes façons de consommer de l’alcool. Les résidents des Maritimes préfèrent la bière, ils boivent de plus grandes quantités par occasion et ils sont plus nombreux à rapporter une consommation épisodique et abusive. Les résidents des Prairies préfèrent les spiritueux, ils boivent moins et ils boivent moins souvent lors d’un repas. Finalement, les Québécois, les Ontariens et les résidents de la Colombie-Britannique boivent plus de vin et moins de spiritueux, ils boivent plus fréquemment et ils boivent plus souvent lors d’un repas que les résidents des autres provinces. Ces profils sont les mêmes selon le sexe, mais les différences régionales sont moins prononcées chez les femmes.

Conclusion: La connaissance de ces trois groupes est utile pour légitimer et améliorer l’efficacité des politiques relatives à l’alcool.

Mots clés

Culture boissons alcoolisées Canada genre 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Paradis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrée Demers
    • 1
  • Elyse Picard
    • 2
  1. 1.Département de sociologie, GRASPUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.GRASPUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

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