27 February 2013

Commenting on research published by University College London into the under-reporting of alcohol consumption, Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:

This research finds that once under-reporting of alcohol consumption is accounted for, 44% of men and 31% of women exceed the weekly guidelines for alcohol consumption. This contradicts the claims of the alcohol industry that only a small minority drink too much, and is yet more evidence of the need for strong government action, including a minimum unit price for alcohol.

A minimum unit price is a targeted policy that will impact heavy drinkers whilst leaving the majority of moderate drinkers unaffected. According to the University of Sheffield, a minimum unit price of 50p would reduce total alcohol consumption by 6.7%, saving around 20,000 hospital admissions in the first year.

The UK’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol is putting more and more strain on our hospitals as we struggle to cope with the rising tide of harm caused to health by alcohol misuse.

More information on the research is available via the University College London website.

Find out more about the RCP's work on reducing the harms caused by alcohol.

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