More than 9 million people in England drink more than recommended daily limits.
However, according to latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics a little more than a week ago, there has been a little but encouraging reduction in the number of those who drank on 5 days or more in the week prior to interview.
Since 2005, there has been around a 2 percentage points increase in Teetotallers ( people stating that they do not drink alcohol at all). In 2016, of all people 20.9% (around 10.6 million people in the population) said that they did not drink alcohol.
The drinking behaviour is impacted by characteristics of local populations such as gender, culture and ethnicity.
In 2016, men were more likely to be drinkers than women. Specifically, 62.8% of men drank in the previous week compared with 51.3% of women.
If we focus on binge drinking (for men this is defined as more than eight units on the heaviest drinking day and more than six units for women ) we notice that men are more likely to be drinkers than women, specifically, 62.8% of men drank in the previous week compared with 51.3% of women.
Among men who “binged” on their heaviest drinking day, normal strength beer was the most popular choice of alcohol, for females wine was the most popular choice. When looking at those who are not classified as binge drinkers, these individuals are less likely to drink stronger forms of alcohol such as sprits and liqueurs, in addition to strong beer, lager, and cider.
The old belief that a small amount of alcohol is good for you has been well rejected. Recent studies revealed that the benefits of alcohol for heart health only apply for women aged 55 and over – and even then it’s in very small amounts, around five units a week.
So, looks like there isn’t a safe drinking level anymore: all alcohol consumption carries some risk and this could only be reduced by drinking in moderation, or not drinking at all.
For those of you who can’t give up a pint or the old good glass of wine, DON’T DESPAIR!!
Just drink to your health, a drink cheers you up…. but not just.