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More professional women turning to drink

Friday, January 29th, 2010 More professional women turning to drink

Professional women are consuming twice as much alcohol compared to those who are lower paid, according to a new study of 2,000 people by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Professional and managerial women drink an average of 10.2 units of alcohol in a week, compared to the average of 6.5 units for manual employees.

The results of the survey are cause for concern because some women don’t drink at all, which means there are women consume much more than the average of 10.2-units, or the 15-unit safe limit, for an individual.

In fact, the results of the survey reveal that a fifth of professional women are drinking more than 15 units of alcohol a week, which is an increase of 17 per cent in the past 12 months.

The ONS found that people who were middle aged are much more likely to drink on a daily basis than younger people.

On average men and women who are considered to be in ‘professional’ employment consumed an average of 13.8 units of alcohol a week in 2008. However, those employed in routine or manual employment drank considerably less, with an average of 10.6 units.

The results of the survey also revealed that more than a third of professionals exceeded the daily limit for alcohol consumption at least once a week (four units for men and three units for women).

President of the Royal College of Physicians, Professor Ian Gilmore, said: “These figures suggest that the increased investment in public health campaigns is having only a limited effect.

“While spreading awareness, they are not necessarily changing behaviour.

“Policies that tackle the bigger influences on drinking behaviour like cheap alcohol and round-the-clock availability are more likely to reduce harm.

Chief medical officer Professor Liam Donaldson said: “Over a quarter of the population regularly drink above the Government’s recommended daily limits, with over two and a half million adults regularly drinking above higher risk levels, putting their health at risk of serious diseases and conditions.”

A pub chain, meanwhile, is to promote large glasses of wine, equivalent to a third of a bottle, in a bid to tempt women of 35 and over.

Gillian Merron, public health minister, said: “Many of us enjoy a drink: drinking sensibly isn’t a problem.

“But if you’re regularly drinking more than the NHS recommended limits, you’re more likely to get cancer, have a stroke or have a heart attack”.

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