Quarter of adults drink excessively

Doctors say one in four adults drink excessively

One in four adults drinks excessively according to a raft of new figures released today.

A review of the government’s voluntary code, intended to curb binge drinking by labelling drinks with their alcohol content and stop the trade offering cutprice promotions, was commissioned by the Home Office. 

It revealed that ten million Britons regularly ignore advice on safe drinking levels. There is also evidence that the cheap prices of alcohol are responsible for the rise in alcohol consumption, with drink prices being almost halved in 30 years, compared to earnings.

The review carried out by KPMG revealed alcohol-related hospital admissions are up 70% since 2002-2003 and heavy drinking is killing 15,000 people a year.

Professor Ian Gilmore of the Royal College of Physicians warned: ‘The Government are understandably anxious about being seen as a nanny state, but unless they take action their own figures suggest we are moving towards a tsunami of health-related harm.’

The government was criticised as it hinted it may alter laws to replace the voluntary code and ban heavy discounting on alcohol in shops.

The review concluded that the voluntary code has failed and blames the ‘overriding commercial interests’ to sell more alcohol, and the lack of enforcement.

A spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association: ‘The Government should address the underlying culture. Legislation is a sledgehammer that will not crack the nut.’

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