UK Government reviews health guidelines for alcohol


London: ONE in four women in the UK is drinking more than is recommended following a Government revision of the alcohol unit system.

The new guidelines have been issued because many drinks and particularly wine are higher now in alcohol than at the time the unit rules were created.

According to the UK Government’s Office of National Statistics, a glass of wine which is officially classified as one unit should now be counted as two.

The Government has highlighted the problem with wine because it forms, on average, 40% of a women’s intake of alcohol. This compares to less than 20 percent for a man.

It is estimated that about 14 percent of women, aged between 14 and retirement age, are drinking too many units because they are calculating using the old method. Using the new method this dramatically increased to 25 per cent.

Manyof those drinking too much as high income earners and professionals. An average senior female manager in a large company is now drinking 15.2 units of alcohol a week.

Among men, a third over the age of 25 are now thought to be drinking more than Health Department recommended safe levels of 21 units a week.

The new rules replace those created in 1978 which have been outdated by bars serving ever larger glasses of wine with ever higher alcohol levels.

Pub wine glasses used to hold 125 millilitres, but now many serve 175 or 250 are common. In addition, thirty years ago many wines only had nine per cent alcohol. Today’s many wines are 14 per cent and even higher. Many beers and lagers have also increased in strength in recent years.