Fears over family drinking levels

THE high levels of alcohol consumed over the festive season are under the spotlight today after new research showed people were concerned about their friends' drinking habits.

Richard Smith

THE high levels of alcohol consumed over the festive season are under the spotlight today after new research showed people were concerned about their friends' drinking habits.

Many people drank more than usual during all the social occasions at Christmas and the New Year and now they are being urged to assess their drinking habits and long term health.

It is estimated that more than 10 million people in the UK drink more than the recommended limits and in East Anglia more than a third of drinkers are concerned about how much alcohol friends and relatives drink.


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The NHS recommended daily limit of alcohol is two to three units for women and three to four units for men.

The YouGov research, published by the Government's Know Your Limits campaign, discovered that in East Anglia young people are concerned about the drinking habits of older people, and that women worry more than men about alcohol consumption.

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Anne McConville, deputy director of the Regional Public Health Group, said: ''Women should not regularly drink more than two to three units of alcohol per day, yet a large glass of wine could contain up to three and a half units.

''Adults who regularly drink double the recommended limits are a worrying 13 times more likely to suffer alcoholic liver disease, while women who drink two large glasses of wine a day increase their risk of breast cancer by over a third.''

Alcohol can cause tension among partners and Denise Knowles, a counsellor with the Relate relationship advisory service, said: ''It's natural to be anxious about those close to you, especially as for some drinking has become such an ingrained part of our social fabric.

''This research shows younger people in particular are worrying about their friends and family drinking too much, which shows this isn't just a case of older people fretting about their children.

''Young people are clearly concerned for their peers, or even perhaps for their parents or older relatives.''

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