Wealthy middle class people over 50 have a serious drinking problem according to new research. A study has found that men and women who have done well in their careers and are over 50 drink far more than the recommended guidelines.
The study looked at 9,000 people over 60 years old and found that men and women with good educations, high salaries and children who had left home were significantly more likely to drink dangerously. Men in this group drank an average of 21 units per week and women drank 14 units per week. That works out to nine pints of beer and one and a half bottles of wine respectively.
The leader of the new study, Jose Iparriguirre, the chief economist at Age UK said the government should lower drinking levels for older people to help prevent baby boomers from unknowingly drinking themselves into a host of alcohol related problems.
This new research further cements the claims that older people, not teens or young adults are the biggest drinkers in the country. Many doctors are already worried that high levels of drinking are causing heart disease, obesity and liver disease in the over 50s. Worse still, as this hard drinking generation continues to age, their drinking habits could pose a serious risk to the NHS.
If an entire generation is suffering from a host of costly alcohol related issues, hospitals and other treatment centres may not have the beds or funding to provide adequate care.
Experts believe pricing is the main reason young people are drinking less while their older counterparts are drinking more. Young people simply do not have the means to afford a heavy drinking lifestyle in many cases. Older people with highly paid and stable careers can add that extra bottle of wine or pint of beer to their tab without having to worry about the financial consequences.
The study also found that women are more likely to increase their drinking when they retire and then slowly reduce their consumption as they age.