Govt guidelines on alcohol set too high, claims documentary

remomended alcohol intakeThe government has long been setting recommended guidelines on alcohol consumption, diet and exercise, amending them in light of research.

However, a new investigation into these issues is claiming that the daily units of alcohol set out could in fact be too high.

The three-part You & Yours documentary airing on BBC Radio 4 cited current guidelines, which recommend men limiting themselves to three to four units a day, a number the NHS equates to "not much more than a pint of strong lager, beer or cider".

While women should not regularly drink more than two to three units a day, which is equivalent to "no more than a standard 175ml glass of wine".

However, the radio documentary suggests that consumption should be far lower, limiting the risk of alcohol addiction and other diseases.

Dr Michael Mosley looked into this matter for the show and found that the guidelines were based on limited data on the harms of low to moderate alcohol consumption.

Originally formed in 1987 by a Royal College of Physicians working party, he argued that they were educated guesses at guidelines and were not based on enough evidence.

Dr Mosley told The Times that the government had "presented these guidelines as if they are about health, but they're really not.

"They're more about behaviour, trying to stop you going out and crashing the car, or fighting."

New evidence suggests regularly drinking only small amounts of alcohol can raise the risk of various cancers, with many calling for consumption to be limited at 50ml of wine a day or a quarter of a pint of beer. This could reportedly save 4,600 lives a year if everyone adopted these guidelines.

The current recommended unit amount is now set to be reviewed in light of extensive research surrounding the matter which has emerged over the past couple of years.
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