Middle-aged drinkers urged to have more alcohol-free days

Maricruz Casares
Setiembre 11, 2018

The findings in a YouGov poll come as Public Health England and Drinkaware launch a campaign urging us to cut drinking.

Now PHE and charity Drinkaware are launching a campaign - Drink Free Days - and a "drink calculator" app that aim to discourage excessive consumption.

Many of us enjoy a drink - but whether it's a few in the pub after work a couple of times a week, some beers on the sofa watching the football or regular wine with our dinner - it's all too easy to let our drinking creep up on us.

Selbie told The Times that the health risks of drinking should not be regarded in the same way as smoking, and that "narking at people" about what they may be doing wrong was futile.

'Setting yourself a target of having more drink-free days every week is an easy way to drink less and reduce the risks to your health'.

'While the link with liver disease is well known, many people are not aware that alcohol can cause numerous other serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, as well as several cancers.

It also increases the amount of calories consumed and can lead to weight gain and obesity.

'But an increasing number of people, particularly middle-aged drinkers, are drinking in ways that are putting them at risk of serious and potentially life-limiting conditions such as heart disease, liver disease and some types of cancer. "Setting a target of a certain number of drink-free days is a simple and achievable way of cutting down and improving health and wellbeing".

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Former England and Liverpool footballer John Barnes is supporting the campaign which will be providing people with a range of tools and resources to help them cut back and make better choices about their drinking.

Dr Julia Verne, a spokeswoman on liver disease for Public Health England said: "Having a day off drinking gives you a chance to clean your system and give your liver a rest".

Research shows that middle-aged drinkers are more likely to be drinking more (above the 14 units lower risk guidelines) than the general population: Adult Survey for England 2016 - Adult Health Trends (table 10).

The YouGov poll - by PHE and Drinkaware - surveyed almost 9,000 adults aged 18 to 85 during May and June this year.

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

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), praised the new campaign, as an "easily understandable way" of beginning to control alcohol intake.

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.

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