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Medicine Stats United Kingdom

UK Cuts Men's Recommended Weekly Alcohol To 14 Units (theguardian.com) 274

jones_supa writes: Men have been advised to drink no more than seven pints of beer a week – the same as the maximum limit for women – in the first new drinking guidelines to be released by the UK's chief medical officers for 20 years. They also advise there is no safe level of drinking for either sex, and issued a stark warning that any amount of alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing a range of cancers, particularly breast cancer. David Spiegelhalter from University of Cambridge said: 'These guidelines define 'low-risk' drinking as giving you less than a 1% chance of dying from an alcohol-related condition.'
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UK Cuts Men's Recommended Weekly Alcohol To 14 Units

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 09, 2016 @06:58AM (#51267557)

    There is nothing scientific about it, and the medical profession say the change has nothing to do with new scientific data. The sole motivation driving this was to make men equal to female.

    As if this bullshit is going to reduce anyone with a penis to change their drinking habits. /s

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @09:14AM (#51267837) Homepage

      Then the freaking women need to start drinking more if they want to be equal.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        Then the freaking women need to start drinking more if they want to be equal.

        I get the joke, but on a serious note, there are so many more important variables in alcohol tolerance and metabolism that gender isn't a big one.

        I've seen women (small Asian women as well) that could drink most men under the table. This is because they've got a fast metabolism and a built up resistance to alcohol (and when you see the way they drink in Thailand, you understand why they've developed such a resistance so early in life). Its not just built up tolerance either, I can easily drink 10-12 pint

    • There is nothing scientific about it

      Fret not, most of us won't take any notice anyway.

    • This has nothing to do whatsoever with left wing. The Tories in Britain are not exactly left wing. Anyway, since when has it been left wing propaganda to be against alcohol or any other drugs?
      • by boa ( 96754 )

        " Anyway, since when has it been left wing propaganda to be against alcohol or any other drugs?"

        Pretty much since the beginning of the left wing workers' movement, at least in some european countries.

        Here's (hopefully) a link to a Google translated web page about the Norwegian workers' movement's view on alcohol way back when.
        https://translate.google.com/t... [google.com]

    • There is nothing scientific about it, and the medical profession say the change has nothing to do with new scientific data. The sole motivation driving this was to make men equal to female.

      As if this bullshit is going to reduce anyone with a penis to change their drinking habits. /s

      Do you have a citation for that? The natural reason for it to vary by gender is because men are heavier than women, but in that case you're still better off giving both genders the same advice and giving them the option to scale by body mass. I don't see any other reason why men and women of the same size should have different alcohol recommendations.

      This article [bbc.com] contradicts you and suggests this is a case of the guidelines catching up with the science and medical advice.

      • There is nothing scientific about it, and the medical profession say the change has nothing to do with new scientific data. The sole motivation driving this was to make men equal to female.

        As if this bullshit is going to reduce anyone with a penis to change their drinking habits. /s

        Do you have a citation for that? The natural reason for it to vary by gender is because men are heavier than women, but in that case you're still better off giving both genders the same advice and giving them the option to scale by body mass. I don't see any other reason why men and women of the same size should have different alcohol recommendations.

        This article [bbc.com] contradicts you and suggests this is a case of the guidelines catching up with the science and medical advice.

        Also: women typically have higher percentages of body fat, meaning that for the same overall weight, women have a smaller volume of water to dilute the alcohol and end up with a higher concentration. http://www.builtlean.com/2010/... [builtlean.com] Women have lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenase than men in youth but higher in middle age. http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.o... [oxfordjournals.org]

    • There is nothing scientific about it, and the medical profession say the change has nothing to do with new scientific data. The sole motivation driving this was to make men equal to female.

      As if this bullshit is going to reduce anyone with a penis to change their drinking habits. /s

      Right... like the fact that men are larger than women has no effect on the volume of alcohol they can consume vs. their blood concentration... Isn't there a conspiracy site somewhere that you should be studying?

  • Blimey! If I'm only allowed one pint a day I might as well make it a Duvel or a Tennents Super.

  • the same as the maximum limit for women

    I guess we're doing these on any day of the week now.

  • by jareth-0205 ( 525594 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @08:51AM (#51267773) Homepage

    The biggest annoyance here is that we feel we should follow the guidelines - the assumption is that medical guidance should be followed, without taking into account that you are definitely going to die someday so your life shouldn't be about avoiding it at all costs.

    If people were immortal except for the effects that might kill us, then yes it makes sense to do your best to mitigate those risks. But we're all going to die after 80 or 90 years of life, so how do you want to spend those years? Starving yourself (mild hunger is best for longevity), eating healthy but borderline boring food, avoiding all mind-altering substances. It doesn't feel like a life, it's hardly exploring the bounds of existence is it? Yes I'm sure some ultra-smug teetotallers will be able to get some sad satisfaction from this news, (yay other people's misery), but given that the human race has *always* sought out chemical mood alteration, perhaps it should be something we accept as a basic need. If not alcohol, then what? There are a bunch of essentially harmless synthetic drugs that we criminalise for no good reason, that at the very least would be better than alcohol.

    Discourage alcohol, but then accept that people will take drugs of some sort, so what should you encourage?

    • Guidelines are for those who seek guidance; you may not be interested, but official guidelines are important in many cases, as for example in health care. And since it isn't law, you are free to ignore it as you see fit.

      But we're all going to die after 80 or 90 years of life, so how do you want to spend those years?

      Well I would prefer to spend as much of my life being as physically healthy and as clear minded as possible. I don't really have a thing against recreational drug use - I have done my bit in my time - but it too becomes a dull routine after a while, and it does take away from my general well

      • Unfortunately health guidelines gave a tendency to gain legal momentum, especially here, so it is worth keeping aware of what's being said.

        Interesting that you should mention learning an instrument as something to do to stretch yourself since so much great music is well known for being created whilst on substances. Some things aren't best sober...

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      They aren't saying never drink, just that it's not a good idea to do it regularly. That's what does the damage, regular use of alcohol/drugs/tobacco. And alcohol is addictive, so it's easy to get hooked.

      Enjoy yourself now and then, but take it from someone who is living it: you don't want to spend decades with some disease that makes life miserable, if you can avoid it. Like a child you want to crank the music up, thinking it won't affect you... But it's all cumulative.

      • They are, because they also sat don't binge. They are saying you can have a couple of pints 3 times a week, there aren't many other configurations that work with all the restrictions in the recommendations.

    • Your argument seems to rest on the assumption that life is only about seeking personal pleasure.
      • Sure, why not. I mean I don't think that follows at all, but even if it did that's not a bad way of organising your one shot at existence.

    • Studies on centennials have found they don't live particularly healthy lifestyles. Many ate unhealthy diets, some drank alcohol and a few were even life-long smokers. The strongest correlation they could find among them was the number of centennials in their own family history. In other words, living a very long life mostly comes down to your genes.
  • Nee probs, I can do that in a day.

  • I am no where near the 14 units.

    • Didn't the 14 units sound a bit high to anyone? Even if spread evenly over the week, I'm sure 14 units would cause a noticeable mental fog.
      • by maeka ( 518272 )

        Two standard units a day should not cause a lasting mental fog for any adult over ~100lbs.

        Unless someone is consuming said alcohol via a method bypassing the stomach it is possible, but extremely difficult to get legally drunk with two drinks. For the liver sees it first, and absorption rates aren't instant, so there should never be a period with one excess ounce of alcohol in the blood stream.

        If an adult feels anything two hours after two standard drinks they probably should have their liver function chec

  • FOOKIN TELLIN US HOW MUCH FOOKIN PEEVE TAE HUV!? AH'VE HUD 14 UNITS BY LOONCHTIME ON A FOOKIN MONDAY, YA BUFTIE COONTS.

  • by rssrss ( 686344 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @10:19AM (#51268063)

    "Boozing is unsafe at 'any level', thunders chief UK.gov quack: Show us your science. What? You mean you don't have any?" By Andrew Orlowski in The Register [theregister.co.uk] on 8 Jan 2016 at 16:02

    The government's chief advisor on health ignored more than 80 studies to produce her new Puritanical guidelines on booze -- which asks Britons to forego their Friday drink.

    Civil servant Dame Sally Davies has drawn up the lowest recommendations in the West: there is no "safe drinking level", her team declared.

    The question is what justification was used to get there. The answer isn't pretty for "evidence based" policy.

    Repeated studies have shown that alcohol in moderation prolongs life: it reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. In fact the benefits of alcohol in preventing strokes and heart disease are far clearer than the negatives of drinking.

    * * *

    Davies ignored over 80 studies and metastudies showing the same J-curve of risk. If you drink nothing, you're at greater risk of heart disease, strokes and living a shorter life than a drinker. The health risk falls for moderate alcohol consumption, with optimal consumption of around 20g (two pints a day for me), then rises for heavy drinkers.

    Instead, as Davies isolated, some highly selective statistical methods were used instead. Compare the error bars to the data point. One is bigger than the other.

    Yet even here, the researchers found a RR (relative risk) of below 1.0 for almost all groups. Davies simply threw out the evidence that didn't fit what she wanted to say (i.e. almost all of it) and highlighted the evidence that did.

    • Repeated studies have shown that alcohol in moderation prolongs life: it reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. In fact the benefits of alcohol in preventing strokes and heart disease are far clearer than the negatives of drinking.

      Well, this is a little misleading. Alcohol is correlated with reduced risks of heart disease and strokes when consumed in moderation.

      Is the cause alcohol itself, or is it something that tends to be associated with alcohol consumption, such as less stress, being more relaxed, etc.? This has come up with, for example, studies of pregnant women which seem to show slightly better outcomes (in some studies) for women who drink only a couple drinks per week, compared with women who abstain completely. In som

      • Well, this is a little misleading. Alcohol is correlated with reduced risks of heart disease and strokes when consumed in moderation.

        True, but almost all the studies on moderate alcohol consumption's long-term effects (negative and positive) are correlational. And it's at a _robust_ effect; that is, no matter how many studies they do to try to make it go away (e.g. ascribing it to flavonoids in red wine), it stubbornly remains. To the point where saying "there is no safe level of alcohol consumption" is m

        • To the point where saying "there is no safe level of alcohol consumption" is misleading to the point of deception.

          Agreed. I actually basically said this toward the end of my last post.

          Because there is a level of alcohol consumption below which, according to the best evidence, risk of various negative effects increases rather than decreases.

          On the whole as a population study, sure. But obviously a double-blind study of alcohol consumption is impossible. And without that, it's hard to separate out the causality here. Alcohol consumption, for example, is highly correlated with social behavior. More social people tend to be in better mental and physical health. People who get older tend to drink less and become less healthy -- the "non-drinkers" in many studies tend to be

          • For a blind study, probably spiking drinking water with ethanol/placebo should work. 7ml ethanol in 2litre water a day will be undetectable by taste/flavour right?

  • by wes33 ( 698200 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @10:27AM (#51268101)

    see http://understandinguncertaint... [understand...tainty.org]

  • May influence insurers to create "no alcohol" policies and use 3rd party data from your spending profiles to estimate compliance. Pay cash or bitcoin for that next pint...
  • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Saturday January 09, 2016 @12:30PM (#51268595)

    How ALL of the posts ranting that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, that all studies show damaging health effects, etc, are AC. Not one rabid teetotaler will put his name to his posts.

  • To compensate they're increasing the units of Victory Chocolate from 3 to 2.
  • "Blah blah blah. https://t.co/bZPnXe2xXy
    Cheers."

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CYM72-RWkAAlEar.jpg

  • Meanwhile in a country full of criminals one of our prime ministers held the world record for sculling a yard of ale [wikipedia.org].

    Even our more recent prime ministers has put some effort in. [youtube.com]

  • Is it her medical opinion that dope is unsafe at any level? Meth? Cocaine? Etc etc?

  • dying of stupidity by alcohol... But I think that's maybe Darwinism...

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