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A third of adults regularly breaking safe alcohol limit

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Over a third of adults exceeded the daily limits for regular drinking on at least one day last year, despite growing awareness of safe alcohol levels, according to annual data on smoking and drinking in England from the Office for National Statistics.

Current advice on drinking is that men should not regularly drink more than three to four units of alcohol and women should not regularly drink more than two to three units.

The General Household Survey (GHS) 2007 report shows that 37% of adults exceeded the benchmark and 20% of adults consumed more than double the benchmark on their heaviest drinking day of the week.

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: ‘It is concerning to see that excessive drinking continues to be a widespread problem despite increasing awareness about its health implications.

‘Alcohol misuse is an issue that nurses deal with first hand everyday and is a major social concern,’ he said. ‘Nurses know that alcohol labelling, sales and advertising need to be properly regulated. This must be combined with campaigns that educate the public about the dangers of binge drinking.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • As Dr Le Fanu of the Daily Telegraph points out the official limits were arbitary, invented by government scientists more than 30 years ago who simply chose sensible, ultra-safe numbers because there was no usable research. This was published in the mainstream papers almost 10 years ago when the parliametary seals expired. So why then are we still being exposed to this absurdity. A WHO study published its 10 year prelimnary results around the same time demonstrating that a bottle a day - probably of a traditional 12% wine rather than modern stronger wines - had about the same death rate as a teetoller (but rapidly increases thereafter).

    Therefore this study utterly worthless since it refers to official but bogus advice and only refers to a beaurocrat's version of reality.

    The general public are drinking themselves stupid because they know the official figures are bumkum and that the real safe limit is actually surprisingly high while yet have no concrete data on what a safe limit for a long term drinker may be (the WHO study only partially answers that question). The advice against pregnant women drinking is equally scandelous.

    I know that for myself I would more carefully regulate my drinking where I to know the facts, and not be palmed off with childishly over-simplistic single figure data which in anycase has only scientists behind it and yet no actual science.

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