Warning over alcohol consumption

DRINKERS in Suffolk do not know how much alcohol is in their favourite tipple, one of the county's health expert claimed today.

DRINKERS in Suffolk do not know how much alcohol is in their favourite tipple, one of the county's health expert claimed today.

Dr Daniel Showell said the effect of drinking even slightly too much could be life-threatening, resulting in chronic diseases of the liver and cancer, depression, and a wide range of other problems.

In Suffolk, it is estimated that 20,000 people are dependent on alcohol, with many others drinking more than they should.

Dr Showell, a specialist registrar in public health with Suffolk Primary Care Trust, said: “The evidence is that particularly older age groups have less understanding about alcohol units. The details are lost on them.

“One of the problems is the system isn't as simple as we might want it. The number of units depends on the concentration and the size.

“A glass of wine can vary in size quite considerably, and then the wine could be a light table wine of 11per cent, or a stronger wine of 14pc.”

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However he said the current units system was the best available and added that a new scheme to get drink manufacturers to give information about units of containers was a positive step.

“It's not good to binge drink or to drink daily at higher than recommended levels,” he said.

“More and more people are suffering from alcohol related problems and we're seeing it mainly in the older age group.

“There is a big problem with binge culture in younger people, however it is a drinking history which brings on the long-term effects.

“These problems are much more significant than illicit drug abuse.”

Have you suffered health problems because of alcohol abuse? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Alcohol units

One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol, which is the amount of pure alcohol in a 25ml single measure of spirits.

It is recommended men drink no more than three to four units per day on a regular basis. For women it is no more than two to three.

A small 125ml glass of wine has 1.25 units if it is 10per cent volume, rising to 1.75 units for 14pc volume.

A large 250ml glass of wine has 2.5 units if it is 10pc volume, rising to 3.5 units for14pc volume.

A standard 50ml glass of sherry or port has between 0.9 and 1 unit.

A standard 275ml alcopop bottle has 1.4 units.

A 330ml bottle of beer, larger or cider, has 1.3 units if it is 4pc volume, rising to 2 units if it is 6pc.

A 440ml can of beer, larger or cider, has 1.8 units if it is 4pc volume, rising to 2.6 units if it is 6pc.

A 568ml pint of beer, larger or cider, has 2.3 units if it is 4pc volume, rising to 3.4 units if it is 6pc.