New Alcohol Guidelines May Encourage Binge Drinking

Medical experts have expressed concerns that new alcohol drink limits could be harmful for women. Doctors warn that the new limits – which have been set at the same level for both sexes – could lead women onto binge drinking as they may wrongly believe that the can drink as much as men can.

The guidelines have been released in a Department of Health consultation document which recommends a weekly alcohol limit for men of 14 units, reduced from the previous level of 21 units. The level for women has also been set at 14 units.

The document states that “for many, alcohol is a part of their social life’, and that the rules are not meant to ‘prevent those who wish to drink from doing so”.

The authors of the document also state that the dangers from drinking are no higher than for other everyday activities such as driving a vehicle. However, the guidelines also point out it is best for pregnant women or those trying to conceive to abstain from drinking altogether.

The new limit of 14 units a week is the equivalent to around six glasses of wine.

Earlier this year, the Chief Medical Officer had advised that any level of alcohol was harmful. This new report, whilst still maintaining that there is no safe drinking level, is softer in tone that than earlier government warnings stating that there is nothing wrong with occasional and moderate drinking.

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