CAMRA calls for alcohol guidelines consultation as public disagree with advice

More than half the public disagree with official health guidelines on alcohol consumption, according to new figures released by the Campaign for Real Ale.

Of 2,040 people surveyed by YouGov, 61 per cent agreed that moderate alcohol consumption could be part of a healthy lifestyle.

And 51 per cent disagreed with the Chief Medical Officers’ decision that alcohol guidelines should be the same for men and women.

Publishing the figures at the start of the Great British Beer Festival, a week long celebration of Britain’s brewing industry, CAMRA is calling for the Department of Health to launch a new public consultation into whether alcohol guidelines are fit for purpose and evidence based.

CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine said: “The figures we’re releasing today, at the start of the Great British Beer Festival, show that government advice on drinking is at odds with common sense.

“If the government wants people to take the guidance seriously then it needs to present people with realistic and believable advice, which they can use to judge their own risk when it comes to responsible drinking.

“If the public feels, as our figures suggest, that the guidelines are not credible and lack  evidence, the danger is they will increasingly just ignore them.

“There are decades of international scientific evidence showing that moderate drinking can play an important part in a healthy and happy lifestyle.We’d like to see that research reflected in a more grown-up approach to help adults understand the risks and benefits associated with drinking.”

Numerous scientific studies have shown that moderate drinking can have a protective effect against various health problems including cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and certain forms of cancer. However, this is ignored in the new alcohol guidelines.

This year the Friends on Tap report from Oxford University also found that those who frequented a pub were happier, healthier and felt more integrated in their communities than those who didn’t have a local.

These latest figures chime with research released by CAMRA in May which showed the majority of GPs also disagree with the Chief Medical Officers’ statement that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. A poll conducted by medeConnect showed 60 per cent of GPs surveyed disagreed with the statement made by the CMOs and two thirds considered that moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

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