How much is
Home drinking suddenly seems very attractive to many. In the UK, supermarket alcohol sales went up 22% in March.
However there remains little international consensus about how much alcohol is safe to drink.
Each country has reached a different conclusion as to what is a safe amount to drink.
In the UK, the Department of Health says men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
That’s six pints of average-strength beer a week.
*One pint of 3.8% ABV lager = 2.2 units (Source: NHS)
In 2016, this was reduced from 21 units (about 10 pints of beer) per week for men, coming into line with the level for women.
(Amazingly, the UK's first guidance on alcohol intake, in 1981, defined 'too much' as being 56 drinks per week for men and 35 for women.)
The standard in the UK is now much less than most other European countries.
In Ireland, the recommendation for men is 21.2 units - about 10 pints a week.
Similarly, in Denmark it’s 21 units.
Over in Spain, the recommendation is 35 units which is about 16 pints of beer a week.
That’s about 18 glasses of sangria.(Assuming each glass has about 125ml of 12% ABV wine)
In New Zealand, it’s 19 units which is about 9 pints.
In the US, the recommendations only set out a daily maximum. This is two 'standard' drinks for men...
...and just one for women.
(Assuming each beer is 12 oz of 5% ABV.)
So then how much is too much?
UK alcohol sales:
BBC News reporting Kantar figures
UK guideline figures:
BBC News, 2006 Guidelines, House of Commons Science and Technology committee report, UK Chief Medical Officers Low Risk drinking guidelines
Ireland, Denmark, Spain figures:
International Alliance for Responsible Drinking
2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans
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