Posted on August 9, 2013 in alcohol and drug addiction

Underestimating Alcohol Consumption Can Be Risky

According to the Department of Health in the United Kingdom, citizens there who drink alcohol may be wrong about how much they are consuming. A new British survey finds that drinkers could be off by as much as 40 percent. The British health survey found that people regularly misjudged both how much and how often they drink.

English studies reveal the fully 80 percent of those who are over-consuming alcohol know that drinking too much is risky, but fail to see themselves as heavy drinkers. The majority judged themselves to be moderate drinkers and, as such, had no plans to reduce the amount they drink. A person must recognize danger before they will take steps to avoid it.

A new awareness campaign launched in the U.K. asked 19 participants to keep a 14 day drink diary. The diaries revealed that participants were consuming the alcoholic equivalent of a super-size serving of wine every day. That reality was 40 percent higher than the participants had imagined they were drinking.

Over-consumption of alcohol carries serious health risks. Drinking more than the recommended amount (2 to 3 daily units for women and 3 to 4 daily units for men) can increase a person’s risk for high blood pressure, liver disease and cancer. Most people seem to think that they are drinking in or under the safe range when, in actuality, they are exceeding it.

Those in Britain who made changes in lowering their alcohol consumption reported improvements in their emotional and physical wellness. The subjects said that replacing an alcoholic drink with a soft drink or adding in more mixers were their favorite methods of reducing their alcohol intake. People who have a drink at home before they go out for a drink with friends could eliminate the at-home cocktail as a painless way to lower their alcohol consumption.

A helpful internet app is available to British residents wanting to check just how much alcohol they are consuming. The site also provides tips on how to lower alcohol intake. Because cutting down on anything is often perceived as a loss, reducing alcohol intake may sound like a losing proposition. In fact, reducing the amount of alcohol consumed provides many positive benefits from saving money and calories to increasing sleep and energy. People are probably drinking much more than they think and are robbing themselves of more benefits than they realize.

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