Campaign warns of drinking 'little too much' alcohol

Woman being poured a glass of wine The campaign warns it is easy for one glass of wine at the end of the day to turn into two or three

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Drinking "just a little more than they should" puts people at risk of serious illness including heart disease, stroke and cancer, the government is warning.

A TV advertising campaign is being launched to press home the message.

It warns regularly drinking two large glasses of wine or two strong pints of beer a day triples mouth cancer risk and doubles high blood pressure risk.

People "should not regularly exceed" the daily limit of three to four units for men and two to three for women.

In addition to the Change4Life campaign, the government released details of a poll of 2,100 people looking at what was known about the risks linked to drinking too much.

Among the findings, the poll revealed 85% of those questioned did not realise it increases the risk of developing breast cancer.

In addition, 66% did not know it increases bowel cancer risk, 59% did not know about the raised risk of mouth, throat and neck cancer and 37% did not realise it reduces fertility.

The campaign also has a website and leaflets offering tips on how to drink less - such as having booze-free days or just using smaller glasses.

'In moderation'

Chief Medical Officer for England Prof Dame Sally Davis said: "Drinking too much is a major public health issue.

Start Quote

Telling people they could be drinking too much can't be our only solution to the country's alcohol problem”

End Quote Emily Robinson, Alcohol Concern

"This campaign highlights how easy it can be to use a glass of wine or beer to unwind at the end of a busy day but these drinks stack up and can increase your risk of high blood pressure, cancer or liver disease."

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "An estimated 10 million Britons drink more than the recommended limits for alcohol, which puts one in five of us at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and weight gain.

"There's absolutely no reason why we can't all enjoy our favourite tipple in moderation, but don't underestimate the health risks when one glass becomes two or three on a regular basis."

And Sarah Lyness, of Cancer Research UK, said: "Alcohol can increase the risk of seven types of cancer, including two of the commonest kinds - breast and bowel cancers.

"And a recent study showed that nearly 12,500 cancers in the UK each year are caused by alcohol.

"The risk of cancer starts to go up even at quite low levels of drinking, but the more people cut back on alcohol, the more they can reduce the risk."

Emily Robinson, of Alcohol Concern, welcomed the campaign.

But she added: "Telling people they could be drinking too much can't be our only solution to the country's alcohol problem.

"We also need to see minimum alcohol pricing brought in as soon as possible, as well as making sure high quality services are available for people who may have developed a serious alcohol problem."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 359.

    The problem with the present alcohol problems is that there has been a change from beer drinking to wine and spirits , so people's actual alcohol intake has risen. Secondly drinking was far more controlled in a tenant run Public house. We must lower the tax on Pub consumed beer and increase taxes on wine and spirits bought via the retail trade if we are to return to sensible drinking.

  • rate this

    Comment number 349.

    We have recognised the dangers that motorcycling represents through enhanced testing and increasing the minimum age for their use. Perhaps, as young peope seem unable to drink sensibly, we should increase the drinking age to 21 and be done with it to stop this Friday/Saturday night binge-drinking mayhem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 252.

    News folks. you may have not noticed, but we all we die one day, despite all the health warning we are subjected too. Yes, arguably an unpalatable fact, but a fact nevertheless, so what with all this risk concerning a choice of lifestyle, as if it makes a dot of difference at the end. If people choose to drink too excess they will still be at the finishing line along with the health nuts. Death,

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    Yet another useless survey telling us the blatantly obvious. Instead of putting health warnings on booze & ciggies how about showing us exactly how much tax we are paying on these items. That should stop binge drinking

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    I know plenty of people whose binge-drinking is outside recommended limits. If you bring this up, they say in astonishment, "But of course I can't be drinking too much - it's far less than I drank when I was a student!" The myth is that you can't have an alcohol problem unless you drink daily. For such people, and their number is not small, this would be a sensible campaign.


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