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  • Charnwood Academic

Safe drinking

You may have seen the articles on the news today about safe drinking levels. It is now 3 years since the Chief Medical Officer amended the advice to the general public: recommending that men and women limit their alcohol consumption to 14 units per week.

But has the message got across to people?

In a blatantly unscientific study (of my 'phone contacts!) this evening, I received 13 responses in the required time-frame to the following questions about alcohol:

- How many units a week does the Chief Medical Officer recommend for: Men / Women?

- How many units do you think there are in a standard (750ml) bottle of 12% strength wine?

I asked them not to check on the internet before replying ...

Of the 8 men and 5 women who responded, only 4 knew the correct number of units per week for both men and women. 6 people were correct or near enough with regards to the units in a bottle (I accepted answers of 8-10). There was no sex bias in the answers. Interestingly, the ranges of the incorrect answers were quite wide:

Units for men: 6-40 per week.

Units for women: 4-30 per week.

Units per bottle: 4-14.

So, unscientific it may be, but I think it's fair to say that the message is not getting across very well.

Oh and by the way, did you know that in 2011 the Royal College of Psychiatrists recommended that people over the age of 65 should drink no more than 1.5 units per day? A sobering thought!!

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