Sunday, 10 January 2016

Putting it in perspective

As expected, the Chief Medical Officer for England has announced a reduction in the recommended
guideline for alcohol consumption for men from 21 units per week to 14, thus bringing it in line the figure for women. She stated that every year, over 20,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer caused by drinking alcohol, adding that excessive drinking can cause other health problems too.

I am not in a position to dispute the science; after all, only a fool would argue that excessive drinking is a risk-free activity. However, while a diagnosis of cancer is always a serious matter, it is worth pointing out that statistically you are 25% more likely to be knocked down when crossing the road than get cancer through drinking. Why aren't there any public information broadcasts and media coverage of what is clearly a riskier activity?

On a related subject, this was part of an article I wrote for the local newspaper:

At this time of the year, many people feel the need to reduce their alcohol consumption, especially after the indulgences of the Christmas period, but unfortunately January is the leanest month of the year for pubs. Every week, around 30 pubs close down in the United Kingdom, and we have certainly lost quite a few in the Southport and West Lancs area in recent years. A large number of people abstaining in January may drive even more pubs to the wall. Alternatives to a dry January might include not drinking for one full week in every month, or if you want the full month off, choose a different one, perhaps getting sponsorship for your favourite good cause. Or you could simply cut down by taking just enough money out to the pub and no cash card, so you can't be tempted to exceed your preferred limit. But however you choose to cut down, please let's not all hit our pubs at the same time in their hardest month of business. They were there when you wanted them at Christmas last month; let's try to make sure they are still there next Christmas too.

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