Friday, 21 September, 2018

Middle-aged adults must have 'drink-free' days: UK health body

Middle-aged wine drinkers are urged to aim to have at least two days off alcohol every week Middle-aged should have 'drink-free' days, say campaigners
Celia Hoffman | 13 September, 2018, 17:14

However, in recent years there has been growing evidence linking alcohol consumption with cancer among other health risks.

Middle-aged drinkers in the United Kingdom are being urged to have alcohol-free days as part of a new drive to improve health, the UK's public health agency said Monday.

Middle-aged drinkers who often visit the pub after work, have a glass of wine over dinner and consume alcohol while watching sporting events are said to be most at peril.

"This is an important campaign highlighting how many of us don't realise that we are drinking in ways that could be harming our health and how we are struggling to moderate", he said.

The objective of the campaign is to encourage middle-aged and older people to take more days off from drinking alcohol as a way to reduce their health risks.

Public Health England says introducing regular days off - preferably two consecutively - "will improve sleep while reducing the risk of heart disease, liver problems, cancers and high blood pressure", the paper adds.

She added: "That's where this campaign comes in and we are delighted to be joining forces with Public Health England for the first time to help give people that knowledge".

The results of a survey carried out by polling agency YouGov and published to mark the launch of the campaign suggests one in five adults living in the United Kingdom consume more alcohol that the low risk drinking guidelines issued by the Chief Medical Officers.

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The campaign is being backed by former Liverpool and England footballer John Barnes.

She said:"Millions of adults in the United Kingdom are drinking in ways that are harmful for their health, often without even realising it".

Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, also backed the advice of taking alcohol free days as a way to "break the habit" of drinking too much, too often.

A dedicated website provides all the information, resources and apps to help support people, including the One You Drink Free Days app and Drinkaware's Drink Compare Calculator.

"GPs are not killjoys, and although there is not completely safe level of alcohol intake, the upper drinking limits are set for a reason, and we would encourage everyone to try and stick to limiting their intake to a maximum of 14 units a week, with at least two alcohol-free days every week". Data has been weighted to be representative of the United Kingdom adult population according to gender, age, social grade and region.

Middle-aged drinkers are more likely than other age group to drink more than the recommended 14 units a week.

PHE and Drinkaware will separately undertake full independent evaluations and peer review processes.

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