UK governments accept new alcohol guidelines

The government has accepted new stricter guidelines on alcohol consumption that were proposed by the UK chief medical officers earlier this year.

The guidelines limit the recommended amount of alcohol to 14 units a week for both men and women, with no alcohol at all recommended for pregnant women.

The CMO guidelines took effect from January 2016 and were the result of a three and a half year review of available evidence by three groups of independent experts.

Since then, the government has consulted on the ‘wording and expression of the guidelines’ to ensure they were properly understood by members of the public.

As a result, the four UK governments have published a new guide to the chief medical officers’ low risk drinking guidelines.

The aim of the guidance is to help people make informed decisions, the document says.

’The intention is to help people understand the risks alcohol may pose to their health and to make decisions about their consumption in the light of those risks, but not to prevent those who want to drink alcohol from doing so,' the guidance says.

The guidelines also recommend that if people regularly drink as much as 14 units per week it is best to spread their drinking evenly over three or more days.

The guidance does not set any limits for ‘single occasion drinking episodes’. However it does advise people to limit the total amount of alcohol they drink on any single occasion, drink more slowly, with food and alternate drinks with water, along with planning ahead to make sure they avoid problems, such as ensuring they can get home safely.

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