Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Middle-aged drinkers ‘should have more alcohol-free days’

Middle-aged drinkers ‘should have more alcohol-free days’

"People have also told us that the idea of a drink-free day is much easier to manage than cutting down, say, from one large glass of wine to a small glass of wine", explained Julia Verne, the PHE's spokesperson on liver disease.

Health chiefs in the United Kingdom are launching a "drink-free days" campaign to target regular drinkers amid fears health risks are "creeping" up on them.

Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie explained why the campaign is necessary, saying: "It's all too easy to let our drinking creep up on us".

A poll of almost 9,000 adults by YouGov suggested people would find cutting down on their drinking harder than improving their diet, exercising more or cutting down on smoking.

Findings from the poll also revealed that more than two thirds of respondents believe trying to stop drinking was tougher than improving their diet or increasing their exercise.

The campaign encourages people to adopt "a few drink-free days" every week in order to reduce the risk of poor health. It's also an easy way to pile on the pounds.

The more alcohol people drink, the greater their risk of developing a number of serious potentially life limiting health conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as 7 types of cancer.

He wrote to The Times: "It demonstrates a failure at senior level in Public Health England to learn the lessons from the use by the tobacco and alcohol industries of voluntary agreements and other partnerships with health bodies to undermine, water down or otherwise neutralise policies to reduce consumption".

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This is why Public Health England thinks it's better if this group introduces some regular drink-free days to improve their health.

"Ultimately you are more likely to cut down if you have some days off drinking", she added.

Verne said: "Most middle-aged people are not drinking to become drunk".

The campaign is being backed by former Liverpool and England footballer John Barnes.

A dedicated website has been set up to support the campaign, offering information, resources and app recommendations to help people looking to cut back on their alcohol intake.

A recent study found that life would be shortened by an average of 1.3 years for women and 1.6 years for men for 40-year-old drinkers who exceeded the guidelines compared to those who stuck to the recommended limit.

Having a few more days a week that are drink free is a great way of taking control of our drinking and making healthier choices for the future which is why I am supporting this fantastic campaign. YouGov interviewed 8,906 United Kingdom adults aged 18 to 85 online between May 14 and June 5, 2018.

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