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UK organisation warns again Daily Drinking

Posted: Tuesday, 19 August 2014 17:58

UK organisation warns again Daily Drinking

Aug 19: Despite several studies evidencing the regular health benefits of wine drinking in moderation, Public Health England, a health quango set up to promote healthy living in the UK, has advised consumers to refrain from drinking alcohol consecutively for two days and adopt a safer one-day-on, one-day-off policy to avoid health problems like cancer and cirrhosis of the liver

Its 92-page paper the full version of which is to be released  shortly, says, “Daily drinking is a key contributor to increased risk, so it is possible that promoting a simple approach such as never drinking two days in a row would have a positive impact.” The report is also expected to warn that drinking alcohol regularly, even if it only just over the “low risk” guideline, the equivalent of two pints for men, could lead to health problems in later life.

Public Health England is thus the health quango that will encourage the Brits to abstain from alcohol if they have exceeded the recommended daily allowance the day before - 2-3 units for women, 3-4 for men. Quango is a semipublic administrative body in the UK that uses services of organizations outside the civil service but receiving financial support from the government, which makes senior appointments to it. Current advice from the Chief Medical Officer of England is for people to abstain from drinking alcohol at least two days a week.

But fresh guidance is expected to suggest that three to four days a week might be more appropriate. Perhaps its final advice would be to stop drinking totally by everyone!

The news Report in The Independent does not clarify whether the advisory is for every form of alcohol and whether it includes wine as well. It also does not seem to consider the amount of pure alcohol imbibed in each drink including wine which generally has alcohol content varying from 11-15.5% -a wide spectrum of about 40%.

The report also does not give any scientific reference point for reducing the frequency in a week or the amount drunk each day. It may not come as a surprise that the proposals have been already criticized for trying to be a nanny to the consumers, with the Conservative Party MP Gerald Howarth slamming the advice as completely unrealistic.

According to Dr Martin Scurr who is one of Britain's leading General Physicians (GP), “Giving up alcohol on alternate days is not something most doctors would recognize as a helpful strategy to curb excessive drinking. It’s hard to see how this plan from Public Health England will persuade excessive drinkers to rein back.”

According to the Drinks Business, Chris Snowden of the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank says that because of the official bodies constantly altering guidelines people have stopped paying attention to them, adding that the Government would be much better if it simply adopted a policy of everything in moderation- an advisory given universally by delWine-to drink better quality wine, regularly, preferably red and with food-and moderately, 2-3 glasses of wine in a 125 mL glass and with content of 12.5%.

Studies in the past have also indicated that the good cholesterol (HDL) tends to increase but its effect lasts only for about 24 hours-hence the red wine that improves the HDL should be taken in moderation regularly. Also the ( LDL) seems to come down a bit with red wine.

UK is besieged with the alcohol problem today and the government has taken several steps to keep its consumption under check. The current advisory appears to be a step in that direction, however controversial or debatable.

Subhash Arora

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Hervé Lalau Says:

You are absolutely righ, dear Subhash, quality is the key.

Posted @ August 23, 2014 11:57


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