Middle-aged heavier drinkers than teens

Over half of middle-aged Brits don’t want advice on how to moderate their drinking and typically drink more than their younger counterparts, who are increasingly drinking less.

drinking at homeAccording to the UK drinks charity Drinkaware, 45-64-year-olds are more likely than 18-24-year-olds to drink to increasing or higher risk levels – a third (32%) compared to one in five (19%) – according to the charity’s Drinkaware Monitor: a survey of drinking behaviours and attitudes in the UK.

This group of middle-aged frequent drinkers is drinking the equivalent of almost three pints of 4% ABV lager five times a week for men, or almost three standard 175ml glasses of 13% ABV wine five times a week for women.

However unlike young adults, who tend to drink large amounts on one or two occasions a week, middle-aged drinkers are more likely to spread their drinking across the week.

Elaine Hindal, chief executive of alcohol education charity Drinkaware said: “In contrast to public perceptions that young adults are the more risky drinkers in the UK, in fact over the course of the week, their parents’ generation are drinking more.

“Our research shows that 45-64 year olds could potentially be sleepwalking into long term health problems as a result of their drinking patterns.

Almost half (48%) of 45-64 year olds who drink to increasing or higher risk levels believe that moderate drinking is good for your health and the same proportion (50%) believe they are unlikely to have increased health problems in later life if they continue to drink at their current level.

Furthermore, 59% of 45 to 64-year-olds who drink don’t want guidance on how to moderate their drinking, having acknowledged the potential risks, compared to just over a third (37%) of 18-24-year-olds.

“Regularly drinking above the lower risk limits can increase your tolerance to the short-term effects of alcohol – but not to the strain it’s putting on your liver”, Hindal added. “As your tolerance increases, you’re more likely to drink more. This habitual behaviour could also put you at an increased risk of becoming alcohol dependent. Just because you don’t feel like you are drinking enough to get drunk, doesn’t mean you aren’t damaging your health. This is one of the main reasons it’s important to give your liver a break by taking regular days off from drinking.”

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