Most middle-aged drinkers not cutting back on alcohol, says new research

The survey found that the most popular strategy that middle-aged drinkers would consider using to cut their intake, but have not tried before, is portion control. Picture: John Devlin
The survey found that the most popular strategy that middle-aged drinkers would consider using to cut their intake, but have not tried before, is portion control. Picture: John Devlin
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Fewer than half of middle-aged drinkers have tried to cut back on their alcohol intake, according to new research.

The YouGov poll found that despite the vast majority of 40 to 64-year-olds thinking that drinking less is a good way to improve your health – and 19 per cent think they will 
have health problems in future if they continue to drink at their current level – just 49 per cent have attempted to cut back.

Think about the situations that usually involve alcohol and plan what you will do instead of drinking

ELAINE HINDAL

The survey found that the most popular strategy that middle-aged drinkers would consider using to cut their intake, but have not tried before, is portion control, with 30 per cent of those surveyed saying they would be willing to consume smaller drinks.

The survey, which questioned more than 3,000 people and was commissioned by alcohol education charity Drinkaware, found that 29 per cent of 40 to 64-year-olds would be willing to drink a lower strength alcoholic drink.

More than a quarter would be willing to record how much they are drinking and about one in five said they would be willing to drink non-alcoholic substitutes.

An overwhelming 86 per cent said they are open to the idea of taking drink-free days, and 20 per cent said they would be willing to avoid always having alcohol in their home.

Drinkaware chief executive Elaine Hindal said: “If you drink regularly, one of the most simple and effective ways to improve your health and well-being is to have several drink-free days each week.

“My advice to incorporate more drink-free days into your week is to plan ahead.

“Think about the situations that usually involve alcohol and plan what you will do instead of drinking.

“Whatever you try, the key is for drink-free days to become part of your routine.”

One in three middle-aged drinkers consume between six and eight units in one sitting on at least a monthly basis, according to the charity.

According to government guidance you should not consume more than 14 units in one week.

Drinkaware has launched its Drink Free Days campaign this week, which aims to encourage middle-aged people to take at least three days off drinking each week.

As part of the campaign, Drinkaware is encouraging people to use its DrinkCompare online tool to help them compare their drinking to the rest of UK and receive tailored information about the benefits of taking drink-free days.