MPs recently announced the recommendation that people should have at least two alcohol free days a week, one of several recommendations in a report by the Commons science and technology committee.
It is thought that previous government guidelines do not aptly highlight the dangers of constant drinking, with experts stating that after heavy drinking people need to leave 48 hours in order for the body to recover.
A key issue with regards to the encouraged drinking limits is the poor knowledge people have regarding the concept of “units” of alcohol. People find it difficult to appreciate how many units are in their drinks meaning that they are not fully aware of just how much they are drinking.
Our survey polled 1000 people asking them to answer a “pub quiz”, a selection of quiz type questions testing our respondents’ knowledge of alcohol.
The results were shocking….
- Knowledge regarding the strength of alcohol was poor, 70% of adults were unaware that a pint of normal strength beer has the same alcohol content of a double whisky. This was particularly evident with individuals from London with 79.5% claiming that one of the alcohols had a higher strength than the other.Not one person got all 15 questions correct, nor did they get 14 out of 15. The highest score was in fact 13.
- When it came to questions regarding the prevalence of alcohol- related disease results were just as bad. Only quarter of respondents knew that that 25% of all adults in the UK will end up with some form of alcohol related disease. Results were most worrying amongst the younger respondents with 81.2% of 18-24 year olds getting the incidence rate wrong.
- The Younger generation were further highlighted when it came to a lack of knowledge on recommended weekly alcohol intake – 72.6% did not know that men are only recommended to have 21 units of alcohol a week.
- Perhaps a more interesting finding was that the majority of adults had no idea when presented with a pair of alcohol beverages which would get them drunk faster. Only 21.3% of respondents correctly identified that they would feel the effects of alcohol faster in a mixed shot of tequila and soda compared to a straight shot. Indeed, this seems to support the misconception mixing alcohol with a fizzy non-alcoholic drink weakens its effect. In fact it does quite the opposite and allows the alcohol to be absorbed into the blood stream faster.
It appears from the results here that although as a nation we are more clued up of the effects of alcohol than perhaps we once were, we still have a way to go. It seems that people are still heavily under-estimating the influence alcohol can have over one’s life both in the present and with regards to their own future.