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Drinking to unwind? Don’t fool yourself

London - Many drinkers are fooling themselves over how much alcohol they consume and are in fact knocking it back at harmful levels, England’s most senior doctor warns.

People who said they were moderate drinkers consumed up to 40 percent more alcohol than they thought, exceeding daily safe guidelines of 3-4 units for men (a pint and a half of four percent beer) and 2-3 units for women (a 175ml glass of wine). A group was asked to describe what sort of drinker they were and how much they drank before keeping a diary for two weeks in which they made a note of every tipple.

Women who drink light to moderately face a 13 increased risk of cancer, regardless of whether they smoke. Credit: sxc.hu

On average, they drank the equivalent of an extra large glass of wine a day more than they estimated.

“I understand that people enjoy having a glass of wine or beer to unwind – but these drinks stack up,” said Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England.

The survey was carried out for Change4Life, an NHS campaign to raise awareness of the risks of exceeding safe guidelines and which provides tips to help people cut alcohol consumption, including using more mixer, substituting alcoholic with soft drinks, having booze-free days, not drinking at home before going out and using smaller glasses.

Dame Sally said people could find out if they were drinking too much and get advice online or by downloading the Drink Tracker app for iPhones and Android mobiles. - Daily Mail

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