North East has Low Awareness of drinking Guidelines

Written by on 8th January 2018

New figures released today show that less than 1 in 5 people in the North East are aware of weekly alcohol guidelines, exactly 2 years on since they were launched.

The same survey also reveals that just 1 in 20 adults are aware of the official advice that children should drink nothing before 15, which is advice given to keep children safe from alcohol harm.

The figures come from the Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, who surveyed the public on their attitudes to alcohol in September 2017.

The low-risk weekly drinking guideline for adults is 14 units a week – around 6 pints of 4% beer, or 6 medium glasses of wine.

This guideline was announced by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers on 8th January 2016.

For children, the official advice is that an alcohol-free childhood is best, based on the fact that young people are physically unable to tolerate alcohol and are therefore more likely they are to develop a problem with alcohol when they are older.

While some studies have suggested young people who drink are more likely to engage in unsafe sex, try drugs, and fall behind in school.

In England, the Chief Medical Officer says that if children do try alcohol, they should be at least 15 years old, and be in a supervised environment.

The survey by balance found that 54% in the North East agree that children who drink at home will ‘know how to handle their drink when they’re older’, and that children who drink in moderation at home ‘are less likely to binge on their own.’

Whilst awareness of the alcohol guidelines for both adults and children is low, the findings found that there is an appetite among the public for greater information on the risks linked with drinking, with high levels of support for the inclusion of warning messages on alcohol labels.

Eight out of 10 people want alcohol labels to include the weekly guidelines, and a warning that exceeding the guidelines can damage your health.

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