Everyone knows that drinking isn’t good for you. Fun sure, but not the healthiest of activities.
But now it turns out that even what most of us thought was healthy isn’t: the idea that drinking a glass of red wine a day is good for you, for example, is actually rubbish.
That’s because the UK’s chief medical officers have issued new guidance on how to booze safely, and the bad news is that no level of regular drinking is without risk to health.
Men should consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, down from the previous 21 units, bringing them into line with the recommendation for women.
Read the guidelines in full…
(Sorry to be a Buzz Killington on a Friday, but this is important stuff.)
On regular drinking:
• You are safest not to drink regularly more than 14 units per week, to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level.
• If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three days or more. If you have one or two heavy drinking sessions, you increase your risks of death from long-term illnesses and from accidents and injuries.
• The risk of developing a range of illnesses (including, for example, cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) increases with any amount you drink on a regular basis.
• If you wish to cut down the amount you’re drinking, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week.
On drinking on any single occasion:
Men and women can reduce risks by:
• Limiting the total amount of alcohol you drink on any occasion.
• Drinking more slowly, drinking with food, and alternating with water.
• Avoiding risky places and activities, making sure you have people you know around, and ensuring you can get home safely.
As well as the risk of accident and injury, drinking alcohol regularly is linked to long-term risks such as heart disease, cancer, liver disease, and epilepsy.
On drinking in pregnancy:
• If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.
• Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink the greater the risk.
• The risk of harm to the baby is likely to be low if a woman has drunk only small amounts of alcohol before she knew she was pregnant or during pregnancy.
Women who find out they are pregnant after already having drunk during early pregnancy, should avoid further drinking, but should be aware that it is unlikely in most cases that their baby has been affected.