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Ipswich: MP Dan Poulter explains he has been tee-total since seeing a fellow student resucitated after a cocktail of drink and drugs

09:00 29 March 2014

Richard Porritt interviews Dan Poulter MP

Richard Porritt interviews Dan Poulter MP

Health minister and doctor Dan Poulter has stayed off the drink since he was a young man after medics had to resuscitate his friend following a drink and drug cocktail.

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The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP revealed the reason that he is tea-total in an interview with the political magazine The House.

He said that he was “quite comfortable with not drinking” and was able to resist the peer pressure of being a medical student and a rugby player when he was younger.

He said: “When I was a lot younger I was at a college party and one of my friends had a drink and drug cocktail and choked on their own vomit and ended up having to be resuscitated.

“Their short-term memory was affected afterwards. That is something that stayed with me ever since and really put me off.

He said that during his medical training he worked on a liver ward at King College Hospital and saw end stage liver failure.

Dr Poulter, right, said the he also saw people vomiting up their whole blood volume because of damage done to the liver through alcohol when working in A&E.

“I am quite comfortable not drinking and once you get into the habit of not drinking and you resist the peer pressure that comes from being a medical student and a rugby player then you get used to it. I am probably addicted to Diet Coke.”

Dr Poulter, who is a junior minister in the Department for Health, also revealed why he will not be joining other MPs in the London Marathon next month.

“I am not really built for running – I am about seventeen and a half stone,” he said.

“I try to go to the parliamentary gym when I have time. I will be back in (rugby) training again properly next season. I did a little bit of golf when I was a teenager so I am trying to get back into that.

“It is a more sustainable sport. I tend to quite a lot of charity runs in the constituency and generally most things sporty I will give it a go.”

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5 comments

  • beerlover, we hear you! There has been many studies over the years that alcohol in moderation can actually be good for your health (like you specify only beer and wine is applicable) and ironically enough for Dan Poulter, Diet Coke has had many health concerns over the years. Something I find rather intriguing - instead of helping Coca Cola line their pockets, forget coke entirely and drink water or fruit juice. Surely a more healthier option that a doctor should be encouraging others to do?

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • The consensus is that moderate consumption of beer and wine can be good for our health. Diet coke probably isn't the best alternative to alcohol. I would like to know if there are any studies analysing the health and life expectancy of groups that do not consume alcohol at all, such as the Salvation Army and Mormons.

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    BigGeoff

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • MPs don't set a good example with cheap bars in Westminster so our MP has more temptations than most. It also makes it difficult to understand why everyone else should have to put up with minimum prices if it does not apply to them when they are at work. I'm glad our MP is able to lead by example but I don't understand why he is promoting a particular soft drink. I hope he isn't being paid to do so.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • after listening to the M P S at prime ministers question time on a wednesday i wonder how many of them are on the bottle

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    pandy

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Fortunately, there's a third option. And it's the one I would suggest that the vast majority of drinkers already take (not that you'd guess that from the one-sided coverage in the media) - drink in moderation, enjoy a few nice Real Ales without having to have so many that you get drunk. You'll not only have the pleasure of enjoying some delicious flavours but you'll also enjoy better health than your teetotal or binge-drinking friends. (Research by no less a person that Professor Richard Doll has shown that people who drink between one and sixty units of alcohol per week have lower premature death-rates than those who consume none or more than 60. The amount of benefit varies depending on what you drink, spirits drinkers see no benefit, wine drinkers some and beer drinkers benefit most).

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Saturday, March 29, 2014

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