The state needs to butt out of Britain’s drinking habits

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The state needs to butt out of Britain’s drinking habits

Post by sassy on Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:22 am

These absurd new guidelines on how much alcohol we should drink are patronising and will have negligible effect on people’s health


Goodbye nudge, hello Big Brother. The new “limits” on how many drinks ministers feel are “safe” make no sense. For two decades, we have been told to closely monitor our units, with the number 21 hovering over us. Now the hyperactive health secretary Jeremy Hunt has decided to slash the number to 14, though leaving it the same (14) for women.

These limits are about a vague national self-image of puritanism, not health. In Spain the “safe” level is 35 units for men and 21 for women. In America it is 22 for men and 12.3 for women; in Ireland 21.2 and 15; in New Zealand 19 and 15; and in Japan there is no recommended limit for women, who can apparently get plastered all they like. Hunt having identical limits for men and women is a cynical sop to gender politics.
We can understand the danger of a heavy drinker getting into a car and driving. The law deals with that. The danger of feeding alcohol to a foetus is one most sensible mothers avoid. If government wants to cut overall alcohol consumption, it can always increase the tax on it.
No reasonable person thinks that drinking too much is good for them. But what is this limit? We are told it is based on the epidemiological risk of dying of liver disease, or breast, colon or oesophageal cancer. But when we delve down into the statistics, we find the actual variations in risk to be almost trivial: a one, two or three per cent “chance” of getting a cancer by a given age. I imagine there is a similarly increased “chance” of a drinker dying some other way, but health statisticians always mention cancer because it gets a headline.

Everything we do in life is risky, including much that some people enjoy and others deplore. Most daily risks we assess and accept for ourselves. We would be furious if Whitehall laid down risk and safety limits for riding horses, climbing mountains, eating foreign food and playing rugby. All involve far greater danger than marginal changes in consuming alcohol.
Words such as risk, safety, danger and warning are both vague and yet loaded with fear. That is why rulers love using them. They invite the public to submit to a state-ordered pattern of behaviour that should not be the state’s business. These words should be banned from every government statement, unless strictly vetted by a statistician and a linguist.
France has the best government guidance on alcohol consumption. It has none.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/08/state-drinking-habits-uk-guidelines-alcohol-health

Don't often agree with Simon Jenkins but I do on this.  Sick to death of being told what to eat and drink.  If I want a drink, I'll have one.  Don't do it very much and my tummy regulates me, cos it don't like a lot, but be buggered if I'll be told by some idiot on high what I can and can't do.


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Re: The state needs to butt out of Britain’s drinking habits

Post by nicko on Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:09 am

We will be told breathing is bad for you next!
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Re: The state needs to butt out of Britain’s drinking habits

Post by Lord Foul on Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:21 pm

living causes death...STOP IT

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Re: The state needs to butt out of Britain’s drinking habits

Post by sassy on Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:22 pm

Quite!   You've been born son, now everything is there to kill you lol

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Re: The state needs to butt out of Britain’s drinking habits

Post by Raggamuffin on Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:08 pm

Isn't that 14 glasses of wine a week anyway? I'd be permanently pissed if I had that many. Laughing

I don't like all that "five a day" nonsense either.

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