Moderate drinkers in the UK are underestimating how much alcohol they consume by up to 40 per cent, according to new research from the Department of Health.
In the recent Health Survey for England, 19 drinkers were asked to keep a diary of their alcohol intake over a two week period. At the start of the period, they gave an estimate of how much they thought they drank.
Researchers found that on average, the participants drank the equivalent of an extra, large glass of wine each day. This works out as around 40 per cent more than they initially estimated.
The survey also found that whilst up to four in five people described themselves as a moderate drinker, they also admitted regularly exceeding safe guidelines.
Almost two in three of these people had no intention of cutting back on their alcohol intake, despite being fully aware of the health implications.
Elaine Hindal, chief executive of Drinkaware, said: “It can seem easy to mark the end of a long and stressful day by pouring a drink to unwind, but regularly drinking above the guidelines puts you at increased risk of damaging your health.”
“There's nothing wrong with enjoying a drink but regularly drinking above the guidelines has both long and short term consequences for your health."
"That's why, if you are drinking, it is important that you are aware of how much and how often you drink.”
Researchers also enlisted a group of participants aged between 35 and 55, who were given tips on how to cut down on alcohol intake.
These people reduced their alcohol consumption by a third, and saved around £33.35 a week. They also consumed 1,658 fewer calories in a week.
Experts say that government warnings of the dangers of excessive drinking are not being listened to.
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