Government Set to Reduce Recommended Alcohol Units

Published On: November 24, 2015

Since the nineteen-eighties, the Government has recommended no more than 3-4 units of alcohol per day for men and no more than 2-3 units per day for women.

Four units are the equivalent of one strong pint to larger. Three units are the equivalent to one large glass of wine.

Weekly, these guidelines recommend no more than 21 units of alcohol per week for men and no more than 14 units per week for women. These guidelines relating to the recommended weekly number of units were produced in 1995.

The advice has remained static for almost thirty years.

Well, all is to change when the Government publishes its revised guidelines early next year.

Dame Sally Davies is the Government’s chief advisor on the proposals to alter drinking guidelines. The decision to reduce the recommended number of units follows expert advice which deems the current guidelines as ‘almost certainly unsafe.’

The move also reflects recent research linking alcohol consumption with cancer.  The move is widely praised by alcohol rehab centres.

An anonymous source has told Rehab 4 Alcoholism that these unit guidelines are certain to be reduced, particularly those relating to the recommended weekly number of units.

Dr Kieran Moriarty of the British Society for Gastroenterology said: “evidence that had emerged in the last two decades [between alcohol consumption and cancer] had been a ‘game changer’.

“The big difference that has been recognised since 1995 is the association between alcohol and cancer.”

“One unit a day or less than one unit a day is associated with an increased risk and cancer that is seen as the most sensitive is breast cancer. That is the new game changer in this and that will need to be incorporated into new assessments.”

Alcohol guidelines in different countries

As the table illustrates below, Portugal, Spain and Italy have far higher recommendations than the United Kingdom.

Czech Republic24g/16g
Switzerland20g–24g (both men/women)
United Kingdom24g/16g



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