CAMRA calls for change in alcohol guidelines

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

CAMRA calls for change in alcohol guidelines
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is calling for an overhaul of official alcohol guidelines after figures show more than half of the public disregard the limits.

Government advice released in January warned that just one glass of wine​ could increase the risk of cancer.

It also cut the recommended weekly alcohol limit for men from 21 to 14 units and warned woman that it is unsafe to drink at any time during pregnancy.

But a YouGov survey of 2,040 people in July found that 61 per cent agreed that moderate alcohol consumption could be part of a healthy lifestyle.

And 51 per cent disagreed with the chief medical officers’ decision that alcohol guidelines should be the same for men and women (14 units).

Now CAMRA is calling on the Department of Health to launch a public consultation to reconsider the limits.

CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine said the figures showed that government advice was ‘at odds with common sense’.

“If the public feels, as our figures suggest, that the guidelines are not credible and lack evidence, the danger is they will increasingly just ignore them,” he said.

“There are decades of international scientific evidence showing that moderate drinking can play an important part in a healthy and happy lifestyle. We’d like to see that research reflected in a more grown-up approach to help adults understand the risks and benefits associated with drinking.”

However, the Department of Health has previously argued that the link between alcohol and cancer was not been fully understood​ in the original guidelines.

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, said: “What we are aiming to do with these guidelines is give the public the latest and most up to date scientific information so that they can make informed decisions about their own drinking and the level of risk they are prepared to take."

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