Alcohol intake guidance to change after review
Chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies is expected to make new drinking recommendations following the review. Reports suggest that she will advise the UK public to abstain from alcohol at least two days a week.
The recommended daily intake for men may also be cut to the same as women. Currently the advice states women to drink no more than two to three units of alcohol a day, and men to drink no more than three to four units.
According to reports, the review of alcohol guidelines will stress that there is in fact no ‘safe’ alcohol intake, as even small amounts of alcohol can lead to health problems.
In Scotland, guidelines already advise people to take two days off from drinking a week.
The review launched back in 2013 after the Department of Health heard ‘sufficient concerns’ from experts that suggested a thorough investigation regarding the evidence on alcohol and health risk was required.
A review looking at alcohol guidelines as a whole hasn’t been carried out since 1995.
Elaine Hindal, the chief executive of Drinkaware (alcohol education charity) spoke out about the updated advice, saying it would help people to make better choices in regards to their drinking habits.
“Our research suggests that aside from well-known impacts on the liver, broader alcohol-related health risks such as hypertension, heart disease and some types of cancer, are not commonly understood by many people.”
Talking about the benefits of avoiding alcohol for several days, Dr Sally Marlow from King’s College London explains that alcohol turns into a poison once metabolised by the liver. She also highlights that drinking every day has a psychological effect, “It becomes a habit and habits are really difficult to break.”
Dr Marlow said it is likely that the new guidelines would take into account the idea of ‘acceptable risk’.
“We drive cars knowing we might have an accident, so are we prepared to accept the same level of risk when we have a drink?
“We accept that there is some risk associated with that, but the benefit in our own internal calculation is worth it.”
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