A Wearside pub have shared their opinion on the recent statistics released by the Office for National Statistics that say 2.5million drinkers consume more than the new weekly recommended alcohol limit in a single day.
The new limit stands at 14 units of alcohol a week, which is the equivalent of six pints of beer and seven glasses of wine.
At Green’s in Sunderland, bar supervisor Jennie Maudsley claims that the data collected in the report is reflected in all of the bars she has worked in over her 10-year career.
Jennie said: “I think a lot of people that come in would drink that in a day, rather than span it out throughout the week.”
She also says that, while there is a limit to how much alcohol she would serve a customer, it’s usually been after “more than six pints” when she would stop serving them.
In January, the recommended limit for alcohol was lowered to 14 units per week because of a review from the Committee on Carcinogenicity found that drinking any level of alcohol increases the risk of a range of cancers.
Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, said: “If men and women limit their intake to no more than 14 units a week it keeps the risk of illness like cancer and liver disease low.
“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.”
The regulars at the bar point to the lower legal limit as responsible for the data.
One source in particular took a more political stance, saying: “I think the limit actually changes regularly with what the actual mood of the Government is at the time.
“For instance, if there was a health kick, we would have a low limit per week. But then the big breweries like Carling and them can say: ‘Well, our profits are going down.’ And then they can put pressure on the Government and the actual amount of units that you can drink will go up.
“I think the limit is actually driven by market forces rather than by any health issues.”
The development of the new guidelines was overseen by Professor Mark Petticrew, Professor of Public Health Evaluation at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and by Professor Sally Macintyre, Professor Emeritus at the University of Glasgow.
Professor Petticrew based the new guidance on new evidence from both the UK and overseas.
He said: “We have reviewed all the evidence thoroughly and our guidance is firmly based on the science, but we have also considered what is likely to be accepted as a low risk level of drinking and the need to have a clear message.”