New Guidelines

This week the NHS published guidelines for alcohol consumption. These guidelines are the first official update in about 20 years. The new guidelines state there are no “safe” levels of alcohol consumption. This is significant because the general public has been under the assumption there were safe levels of consumption, except for pregnant women who should’t drink alcohol at all.

Having asserted there aren’t safe drinking levels, and acknowledging people will continue to consume, the NHS provides consumption guidelines to minimise heath risks. Both men and women shouldn’t consume more than 14 units of alcohol per week. That translates into 7 pints of beer a week or 7 small glasses of wine per week. The guidelines go even further to suggest that there should be at least 2 alcohol free days per week. One might argue these are new guidelines for an ageing population, but the overall message is clear: we need to drink less, have alcohol free days and not binge. Perhaps it’s not a surprise the guidelines were issued on a Friday.