Government Alcohol Guidelines Divide Opinion

New alcohol drinking guidelines issued by the government have caused controversy and criticism, despite the medical evidence that exist to support them.

The government has essentially opined that no level of alcohol consumption can be considered safe.

And the guidelines have been signed off by the UK Chief Medical Officers, with the Committee on Carcinogenicity also reviewing the evidence.

Additionally, it is also now known that the cancer risks inherent in alcohol increase proportionately with the amount being consumed.

According to the position of the government and the organisations that have produced the guidelines, they are aimed at ensuring that the risk of mortality from cancers or other diseases related to alcohol are kept as low as possible.

Previously guidelines on alcohol were published in 1995, but the links between the substance and cancer were not fully understood at that time.

Men should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol each week, the same level as for women, according to the latest research.

However, despite of the solid medical evidence supporting the position of the government, the guidelines have been subjected to criticism.

In particular, the suggestion that no amount of alcohol whatsoever can be considered safe has been treated with dismay, with the government accused of nannying conduct.

It is interesting to note that the group behind the guidelines concluded that there is no reasonable justification for drinking in order to improve health.

This ends the particularly prominent suggestion that consuming red wine can be beneficial.

It must be said that the original study on which this opinion had been based was not particularly scientifically strong.

An additional recommendation is not to ‘save up’ the 14 units for 1 or 2 days, but to spread them over 3 or more days.

The recommendations certainly do not fit into the general binge drinking culture of Britain, and the suggestion that no alcohol consumption at all can be considered safe has been criticised by alcoholic drink producers.

Leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, was also vocally critical of the guidelines, and suggested that British people should take to the bars and pubs of England in an act of defiance.

Yet this comprehensive review found that regular consumption of alcohol can contribute to the scrambling of DNA that ultimately causes cancer.

There may be confusion on why the government guidelines remain at 14 units per week, while it has been widely publicised that no alcohol consumption is safe.

But the scientific evidence certainly seems to support the position of the government.

 

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