Middle-aged drinkers in UK should have alcohol free days

Public Health England is urging regular drinkers to set a weekly target of non-drinking days to improve health and avoid dependency

Public Health England and Drinkaware will collaborate on efforts to raise awareness of the challenges caused by even moderate alcohol consumption, and will also undertake efforts to help people to cut back on their consumption.

As such, the new campaign is encouraging middle-aged drinkers to take more alcohol-free days to reduce the health risks associated with booze.

"Ultimately you are more likely to cut down if you have some days off drinking", she said.

Drink Free Days, which has been launched by Public Health England and Drinkaware, targets middle-aged drinkers - between 45 and 65 - who are "at greater risk to high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as seven types of cancer", according to an emailed statement.

Drinkaware chief executive Elaine Hindal said: 'An increasing number of people, particularly middle-aged drinkers, are drinking in ways that are putting them at risk of serious and potentially life-limiting conditions such as heart disease, liver disease and some types of cancer'. "It also has an immediate impact on your sleep and calorie consumption", Julia Verne, a spokeswoman on liver disease for Public Health England, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Selbie was unwavering. "We think our advice on drink-free days is easily understandable, pragmatic and sensible", he said.

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She added: "That's where this campaign comes in and we are delighted to be joining forces with Public Health England for the first time to help give people that knowledge".

This follows the results of a YouGov poll that found one in five (20%) United Kingdom adults are drinking above the Chief Medical Officer's low-risk drinking guidelines of 14 units a week and more than two thirds said they would find cutting down on their drinking harder to do than one or more other lifestyle changes, such as improving their diet, exercising more or reducing smoking.

Former England and Liverpool footballer John Barnes, 54, is supporting the campaign. "PHE is steadfast in its ambition to reduce the harms that drinking too much alcohol can cause and we will work together with any partner that speaks to the evidence and shares the same commitment".

Selbie added that the health risks of drinking should not be regarded in the same way as smoking, and that "narking at people" about what they may be doing wrong was futile.

It found that one in five were drinking more than the government's 14 unit-a-week guidelines. YouGov interviewed 8,906 United Kingdom adults aged 18 to 85 online between 14 May and 5 June 2018.

The Drink Free Days app is a simple and easy way to track the days you drink alcohol and the days you don't.

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