Think you are a moderate drinker? Think again
A new study has found that people who thought they were moderate drinkers consume up to 40% more alcohol than they thought.
Most people who describe themselves as moderate drinkers have been found to consume a large glass of wine (two units) more than they realise each day. This exceeds the recommended safe guidelines and can have serious health risks.
While the participants in the study were told the health risks of this extra drinking, two out of three said they did not plan to curb their consumption.
Overall, the study found that people not only underestimate how much they drink, but also how often.
When the study had finished, participants were offered some simple tips for reducing their consumption. These included having days off from drinking, not pre-drinking before a night out, drinking more mixed drinks and swapping alcohol for soft drinks.
Positive results of not drinking
Those that did cut down reported plenty of positive results. On average, these people consumed 1,658 fewer calories per week. Those who cut down also reported improvements in their physical and emotional wellbeing.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, said:
"I understand that people enjoy having a glass of wine or beer to unwind at the end of a busy day - but these drinks stack up and can increase your risk of high blood pressure, cancer or liver disease.
"The alcohol guidelines recommend that men should not regularly drink more than three to four units a day, and women should not regularly drink more than two to three units a day.
"The Change4Life campaign aims to help and encourage people to check how much they are drinking using the drinks checker app or online, and if they find they are drinking over the guidelines, provide helpful tips and advice to cut down.
"Cutting back your drinking can reduce your health risks, reduce your calorie intake, help you sleep better and boost your energy."
The government advises that people should not regularly drink more than the daily unit guidelines of three to four units of alcohol for men (equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% beer) and two to three units of alcohol for women (equivalent to a 175 ml glass of wine).