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Nearly half a million North East drinkers may be exceeding limits

Nearly half a million North East drinkers may be exceeding limits

 

Nearly half a million North East drinkers may be exceeding limits

New figures suggest nearly half a million adults in the North East are drinking enough alcohol to increase the health risks – with the majority under-estimating their intake and most not aware of alcohol guidelines.

And the figures, released by Balance, show that it is not young people who are most likely to be drinking above the “low risk” guideline of 14 units per week – but adults aged 45-54.

The research has been released for the relaunch of the Balance “Can’t See It” campaign highlighting that drinking increases the risks of seven different types of cancer. With 89% of North East adults drinking (around 1,869,000 people), it suggests:

• Over 1 in 4 North East drinkers (26%) are exceeding the Chief Medical Officer guidelines of no more than 14 units per week to stay “low risk”. That suggests an estimated 485,940 people exceeding the recommended guideline.
• The heaviest drinking is seen among people aged 45-54, with 30% of drinkers in that age group exceeding the weekly guidelines of no more than 14 units per week
• More than 8 out of 10 (84%) people drinking above 14 units per week consider themselves to be light or moderate drinkers. This suggests an estimated 408,189 adults in our region drinking at increasing or higher risk levels while under-estimating their own drinking risks.

The Chief Medical Officer guideline for men and women is that it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level. The guideline was launched in January 2016 but only around 16% of North East adults were aware of the figure by 2017.

Balance is encouraging people to take at least 2 or 3 days off drinking every week as a way of cutting down to 14 units or under and reducing the risks of an alcohol related disease.

Read on to find out more