Harsh new guidelines issued upon alcoholic drinks have cut drinking limits as ‘there is no such thing as a safe level of drinking’.
The UK’s chief medical officers say new research shows that any amount of alcohol can increase risks of cancer. New advice says that men and women who drink regularly should consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week; which is equivalent to 6 pints of beer or 7 glasses of wine. Pregnant women should not drink at all.
It also says that if people do drink, it should be moderately over three or more days, some days should be completely alcohol free. People shouldn’t “save up” their units and drink them over one evening, heavy drinking sessions increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
The guidance marks the first full review of alcohol guidelines since 1995, but updated advice on drinking in pregnancy and for young people was published respectively in 2007 and 2009. In relation to pregnant women; the new guidelines bring the rest of the UK in line with Scotland as it is recommended that pregnant women should not drink at all. This marks a subtle shift from previous guidance for people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which, whilst suggesting they shouldn’t drink- if they did it should be no more than one or two units of alcohol, once or twice a week.
Previous government guidance set out daily drinking limits of 3/4 units for men and 2/3 for women. The new guidance moves to weekly limits to get away form the idea that every day drinking is fine.
The new 14 unit limit represents a cut in drinking levels for both sexes, the lower end of the daily range has been advised by the government. Regarding drinking during pregnancy, the new advice is unambiguous- women should not drink. Previously women in the UK had been told not to drink but if they did, to a limit.
INFORMATION FROM BBC HEALTH