Just A Drop – UK Alcohol Consumption Review

Just A Drop – UK Alcohol Consumption Review
New UK Review on Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is the new cigarette, or so the new guidelines for alcohol consumption in the UK would have you believe.

We all know someone who has fallen victim to the disease of alcoholism, or is affected by the actions of a drunken person. Drinking alcohol is a double edged sword of drinking enough to be social, and not drinking too much to be a danger to yourself and others. Life in the empty nest is often replete with a little wine while fine dining or other alcoholic beverages as friends get together.

Trendy wine bars and upscale pubs replaced tea shops and cafes. Alcohol is big business and the British have always enjoyed a night at the pub. The recently published Alcohol Consumption Guidelines was prompted by figures such as 8,146 alcohol related deaths in 2013. Alcohol was also  responsible for 1.2 million hospital admissions in 2012.

Reduce your Alcohol

Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical officer for England, just  published the first major revision of alcohol guidelines in 20 yrs, and the reaction has been mixed.  Some say it highlights the obvious, while it has also been accused of creating a “Nanny State”.

The report’s main recommendations are:

  • Men are now being advised to drink the same level of alcohol as women  no more than six or seven pints, or small glasses of wine, a week.
  • Spread over 3 or more days.
  • Any amount can increase the risk of cancer.
  • Pregnancy – Not recommended at all.
  • Drinking for health is not a justified.
  • Several alcohol free days per week.
  • Drink slowly.
  • Limit the amount for each occasion.
  • Risks are greater for women in the long term.
  • 3 pints is binge drinking.

 

Love it or hate it, the guideline is only a recommendation. Every individual, as they say in Canada has to “Know your limit and stick within it.” has to take responsibility for their own actions when consuming alcohol.  There is a poem my mother used to recite in school when poetry was still used to instill moral lessons. I will share the first part of the poem where a glass of wine is boasting:

THE TWO GLASSES

There sat two glasses filled to the brim,
On a rich mans table, rim to rim;
One was ruddy and red as blood,
And one as clear as the crystal flood. Said the glass of wine to the paler brother:
Let us tell the tales of the past to each other;
I can tell of banquet and revel and mirth,
And the proudest and grandest souls on earth
Fell under my touch as though struck by blight,
Where I was king, for I ruled in might;
From the heads of kings I have torn the crown,
From the heights of fame I have hurled men down:
I have blasted many an honored name;
I have taken virtue and given shame;
I have tempted the youth with a sip, a taste,
That has made his future a barren waste.
Greater, far greater than king am I,
Or than any army beneath the sky.
I have made the arm of the driver fail,
And sent the train from the iron rail;
I have made good ships go down at sea,
And the shrieks of the lost were sweet to me,
For they said, Behold how great you be!
Fame, strength, wealth, genius before you fall,
For your might and power are over all.
Ho! ho! pale brother, laughed the wine,
Can you boast of deeds as great as mine?

1872.

Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873
What do you think about the findings and recommendations of the Review?

J. L. James
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J. L. James

Writer at EmptyBesters
Social Commentator, Original EmptyBester.
J. L. James
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J. L. James

Published byJ. L. James

Social Commentator, Original EmptyBester.

2 Comments

  • Gilly Maddison

    22/02/2016 at 6:22 am Reply

    Honestly? Alcohol does not even feature on my radar. I detest it. It is a killer in so many ways and I choose to stay away from it. I love and appreciate my liver and the few brain cells I have left. When I was younger, I drank socially, I have been drunk and I have been hungover. But now, when I see people drinking (including my own adult kids), I have the same reaction I get when I see people smoking. I feel sad and wonder why people do that to their bodies. Alcohol is a poison which degenerates the body no matter how much you drink. And yes, grapes do have health-giving properties that wine enthusiasts are always trotting out in their defence. Ok – so drink grape juice! I just don’t get how intelligent people drink alcohol. I know so many people with health issues who will spend hours going on and on about their illnesses but when you say, well alcohol won’t help, they get defensive and claim drinking ‘has nothing to do with it’. Well stop boring me with your health niggles!!!!!! I know this will probably annoy the hell out of people who like a tipple but not drinking has been the biggest health booster I have ever known.
    Gilly Maddison recently posted…Historic Burial Ground Decays Behind A Car WashMy Profile

    • Judith

      Judith

      22/02/2016 at 5:44 pm Reply

      Thank you, thank you Gilly, I totally agree with you. I personally have never acquired a taste for it. I know so many people whose family life has been ruined because of alcoholism. And I know people who I call “slow burn” alcoholics who will swear up and down that they do not have a problem and on the whole seem functional. However, they always seem to be having a glass of wine, because it seems more sophisticated and covers the addiction, or so they think.

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