Over the past 10 years, British people have consumed seven billion fewer units of alcohol. New figures from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) show a 2.1% decrease in consumption from 2012 to 2013 along with the decade of falling consumption.
Broken down into individual terms, British people drank one fifth less alcohol in 2013 compared to 2004. That works out to about 7.7 litres which is the lowest level of consumption this century.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: "We have now experienced a decade of falling alcohol consumption. While total consumption per head is not synonymous with alcohol-related harm, these are interesting figures, as the percentage of those drinking at harmful levels has also been falling, as have the number of under-18s drinking."
"The will continue to work to tackle alcohol misuse, but there are several encouraging trends, and accurate and up-to-date figures are important for the debate around alcohol."
That means, despite neknominations, pre-loading and the many other problems reported about alcohol, the Great British public are drinking less. This newfound spirit of moderation could have a knock on effect by helping to decrease the amount of obesity, heart disease and liver and kidney disease. It may also signal a fall in alcohol related injuries and certain types of crime.
While the news of falling consumption has many addiction workers excited, the choice to not drink may not be based solely around health. The highest drinking numbers in the past decade were between 2004 and 2007. These numbers began to fall right around the same time as the start of the recession. This could mean that cash strapped Brits simply avoided alcohol as a means of saving money. It could also mean that they were purchasing cheaper alcohol which would mean the lower number of units consumed could be chalked up to lower proof purchases. The only way to know for sure is to watch the trends in alcohol consumption now that the UK is coming out of recession.
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