Are British People Ignoring Alcohol Guidelines?

Many people in the UK regularly drink more than the recommended daily allowance of alcohol. This regular consumption of more than the recommended amount can be dangerous for health and can, in some cases, lead to alcohol addiction.

New research has found that many people in the UK do not actually heed the guidelines because they do not drink every day. They believe that the guidelines do not apply to them because they only drink on the weekends. However, excessive consumption of alcohol in one session, known as binge drinking, can be equally as damaging to health.

Women are advised not to have more than two to three units per day while men have a slightly higher allowance at three to four units per day. However, many people admit to ignoring the guidelines because they do not feel these apply to them.

Unrealistic Guidelines

There are some that feel the guidelines are unrealistic and do not account for the fact that many people drink to get drunk. Nevertheless, experts are keen to point out that the guidelines are there for a reason, and some even believe the limits should be lowered. Evidence has pointed to the fact that sticking within the current guidelines means that there is a lower chance of developing health problems.

Some experts believe that even drinking slightly more than the daily allowance increase the risk of health problems considerably. They believe that those who drink two pints of strong lager or two large glasses of wine each day are three times more likely to develop mouth cancer, for example, than someone who drinks within the guidelines. The risk of developing breast cancer increases by approximately twenty per cent while the likelihood of cirrhosis of the liver increases too.

Lack of Understanding

Despite the fact that the risks of health problems increase significantly by consuming more than the daily limit, many individuals do not seem to understand the risks. According to Professor Linda Bould from the University of Stirling, “It’s not so much that people think alcohol’s not a problem – around 80% of people in one survey we did, recognised that the UK has a problem with alcohol. But when they think about themselves, they don’t necessarily see a problem.”

Professor Bould feels that more should be done to highlight the immediate risks of excessive drinking, such as injury and accidents. She also said that the risk of developing health concerns begins at low levels of consumption stating, “If you look at breast cancer, the risk from alcohol consumption starts at a very low level. So a woman who’s drinking a bottle of wine on a Saturday night is at higher risk than a woman who doesn’t drink at all.”

Professor Bould thinks that people do not really believe that the risks are there, and many are reluctant to believe that alcohol can cause cancer.

Relevant Guidelines

The study also showed that many British people think that alcohol guidelines in Canada and Australia are more flexible and relevant because these include advice for those who drink regularly and separate advice for those who drink occasionally.

The guidelines in the UK are currently being reviewed according to the Department of Health, and many believe they may be changed to a format similar to that in Australia and Canada.

Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of cancer and liver disease, but it can also cause other symptoms such as weight gain, sexual health problems, stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Getting Help

Those who are worried about an alcohol problem can get help by contacting Addiction Helper. We are a free service putting addicts and their families in touch with treatment providers across the UK. Contact us today for more information. Addiction politics is a problematic topic, but we can assist you with understanding everything about it.

Source:  BT Home

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