Curb your alcohol consumption and be healthier, says Public Health England

Leslie Hanson
September 12, 2018

Drink Free Days, launched by Public Health England and Drinkaware, is calling on people to reduce their alcohol consumption to lower the risk of developing serious health conditions, including seven types of cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease.

A leading adviser to the Government's public health agency has left his role over a new drinking awareness campaign which involves the alcohol industry.

'Setting yourself a target of having more drink-free days every week is an easy way to drink less and reduce the risks to your health'.

It's also an easy way to pile on the pounds ... about ten million people in England are drinking in ways that increases the risks and many are struggling to cut down.

Regular drinking also increases the amount of calories consumed and can contribute to weight gain and obesity.

The results of a survey carried out by polling agency YouGov and published to mark the launch of the campaign suggests one in five adults living in the United Kingdom consume more alcohol that the low risk drinking guidelines issued by the Chief Medical Officers.

Drinkaware chief executive Elaine Hindal said: "The more you drink, the greater the risk to your health".

Former England and Liverpool footballer John Barnes, 54, is supporting the campaign.

"It is saddening to see that widely refuted false allegations about our independence are being used to undermine serious and genuine attempts to help people moderate their drinking and improve knowledge about the long-term health risks".

Dr Julia Verne, a spokeswoman on liver disease for Public Health England said: "Having a day off drinking gives you a chance to clean your system and give your liver a rest".

"It's easy to drink too much by having a pint or a glass or two of wine every night, but taking a few days off is a simple way to help you cut down and break the habit".

'But remember, just because you have taken a few days off doesn't mean that you can drink more than usual on the other days'.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov. YouGov interviewed 8,906 United Kingdom adults aged 18 to 85 online between 14 May and 5 June 2018. This included a subset of 1,847 adults who drank over 14 units in the last week.

Middle-aged drinkers are more likely than other age group to drink more than the recommended 14 units a week.

PHE and Drinkaware will separately undertake full independent evaluations and peer review processes.

"Given that responses to our submissions to PHE's chief executive, Duncan Selbie, have confirmed that the lessons of history have not been learnt, we feel our respective roles as co-chairmen of the Alcohol Leadership and Tobacco Control Implementation Boards of PHE are undermined and must cause us to consider our positions if the partnership with Drinkaware is not terminated with immediate effect".

The Drink Free Days app is a simple and easy way to track the days you drink alcohol and the days you don't. Therefore, lowering alcohol consumption as part of improving your lifestyle can help to improve your overall health.

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