Response to Health Survey for England 2015 results

14 December 2016: Responding to the release this morning of the 2015 Health Survey for England, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said:

‘We welcome the continuing downward trend in children aged 8-15 being exposed to alcohol.

 ‘However, the figures for adults are worrying as they reveal that in 2015, 31% of men and 16% of women in England drank more than the current low risk weekly guideline of 14 units a week spread out across 4-5 days.

‘Drinking above the low risk guideline places people at increased risk of illnesses like heart disease, liver disease and cancer.

 The most recent UK guidelines on low-risk drinking, and the reasons behind them, have simply not been communicated adequately. The government needs to ensure the public are aware of the current drinking guidelines, as well as the harms associated with alcohol. The public have the right to know, so they can make informed choices about their drinking.

The government should communicate the risks in two ways.

‘Firstly, the government should develop mass media campaigns outlining the risks. These could include TV and radio advertisements, social media campaigns, and messages on public transport.

‘Second, the government should introduce mandatory labelling of all alcoholic products, containing clear and legible health information about the harms associated with drinking.’