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Drinking will exceed 600 million units of alcohol over Christmas

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 Drinking will exceed 600 million units of alcohol over Christmas

Alcohol awareness charity, Drinkaware, have estimated that Britons will consume more than 600 million units of alcohol during December.

The charity have estimated that the equivalent of 602 million shots of vodka, 265 million pints of beer or 286 million glasses of mulled wine will be consumed over the festive period with over half of people interviewed admitting that they will probably drink more than the recommended daily unit guidelines.

The research, carried out by market research specialists ICM and commissioned by Drinkaware, interviewed more than 2,000 adults in Novembers and asked them about their drinking habits during the festive period.

The results of the report found that:

• 14 per cent, or 1 in 7, adults in Britain generally drink more than they intend to over Christmas.
• 16 per cent, or 1 in 6, said that December is the one month of the year when they don’t feel guilty when they drink.
• 36 per cent will be attending three or more festive events this month.
• 53 per cent say they will be drinking alcohol at all or nearly all the Christmas parties they go to
• 54 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women are expected to drink over the recommended daily guideline during the festive season.

ICM multiplied the average number of units peoples said they intended to drink by the average number of festive events they will be attending and then extrapolating to the number of drinking age people in the wider population in order to estimate the number of units of alcohol that will be consumed.

Chief Executive of Drinkaware, Chris Sorek, said that 602 million units is probably an underestimate of the number of units Britons will be consuming during the festive period.

The UK Government’s daily guideline is 2-3 units for women and 3-4 for men. However a statement on the NHS Choices website says: “there is no guaranteed safe level of drinking, but if you drink below a certain level the risks of harm are reduced”.

A person raises the risk of developing health problems such as liver disease, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety if they regularly consumer more units of alcohol that the daily guideline.

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