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Britons drink more than we thought, says minister | Society | The Guardian

Britons are typically drinking a third more than earlier surveys suggested, it was revealed yesterday, as the government took the unusual step of revising the way it calculates alcohol consumption to reflect stronger wine and the trend towards drinking from bigger glasses.

The Office for National Statistics has updated its drinking assessment method for the first time since 1978 due to the higher alcohol content and bigger measures of some products.

But the drinks industry reacted angrily, saying the government was sending out a confusing message about sensible alcohol consumption, and insisting that, overall, people were drinking less than they used to.

The assessment changes boosts average British alcohol consumption estimates from 10.8 units to 14.3 units a person a week when applied to the last General Household Survey data in 2005. But women's estimated intake increases by 45% to 9.4 units a week as they drink more wine than men, the ONS said in a new report.

It said: "Applying the new methodology to 2005 data shows that there has been some undercounting of the number of units in certain types of drinks - predominantly wine but also, to a lesser degree, beer, lager and cider."

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Dec 14th, 2007 at 12:55:02 AM EST
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