Scotland: NHS campaign encourages people to know their weekly alcohol limit
Research shows wine, beer and spirit drinkers remain largely unsure of recommended guidelines
By ByIan Bunting
January 28, 2020
NHS Lanarkshire is encouraging the people of Airdrie and Coatbridge to “Count 14” as research shows wine, beer and spirits drinkers remain largely unsure of how many drinks make up the recommended weekly alcohol unit guideline.
Residents looking to reduce their alcohol intake are being urged to join the campaign next month – and beyond – to keep the risks posed by alcohol low.
The initiative provides an easy guide to what 14 units actually looks like for a range of different alcoholic drinks.
Only 15 per cent of beer, lager and cider drinkers in Scotland were able to correctly identify that six pints equals 14 units, with 16 per cent of wine drinkers knowing 14 units equated to six medium glasses of wine.
Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of those who drink spirits regularly knew seven double measures added up to the recommended maximum unit guideline.
Of those who drink wine, beer, or spirits, many simply answered “don’t know” when asked how many of each drink made up 14 units (17 per cent, 13 per cent and 28 per cent respectively).
The Scottish Government’s Count 14 campaign, backed by NHS Lanarkshire, aims to help people understand how their weekly drinking adds up.
Gabe Docherty, the health board’s director of public health, said: “NHS Lanarkshire fully supports the Scottish Government’s Count 14 campaign.
“This is an important campaign in reducing the harm caused by alcohol by raising awareness and encouraging people to consider their weekly alcohol consumption.
“We fully support these measures to help improve and maintain the health of the people of Lanarkshire.”
Figures released last year highlighted that, in 2018, Scots bought enough alcohol for every adult to drink 19 units of alcohol per week, meaning that, on average, every adult in Scotland is drinking 36 per cent more than the lower risk guidelines.
Scotland’s Alcohol Framework 2018: Preventing Harm was launched in November 2018 which set out the Scottish Government’s national prevention aims on alcohol.
Chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said: “The alcohol guidelines are based on the clear evidence that as alcohol use increases, so does the risk of a range of health harms.
“To keep these risks low, it’s recommended that men and women don’t drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.