A fifth of drinkers exceed the government’s weekly recommended alcohol limit EVERY week, according to research.
The UK guideline recommendation is to consume no more than 14 units over a seven-day period – the equivalent of five pints of beer or seven glasses of wine.
But 21 per cent of drinkers routinely go over this.
One in 10 drink every single day – although around half have attempted to cut down during the past five years.
Commissioned by Yorkshire Cancer Research, the study of 3,000 adults who drink also found six in 10 have no idea how much the recommended weekly limit is.
In fact, 14 per cent think the limit is 21 units – seven units more than the guideline amount.
Dr Kathryn Scott, chief executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, which has also created a quiz on alcohol intake, said: “There is no safe level of alcohol consumption when it comes to your health.
“Drinking alcohol is now the leading risk factor for ill health among those aged 15 to 49 – and can cause cancer.
“Seven different types of cancer are linked to drinking – including eight per cent of all breast cancer cases and six per cent of bowel cancers.”
The study also found seven in 10 participants didn’t know that ANY amount of alcohol can increase the risk of developing cancer.
But upon learning the truth, 79 per cent said they’d continue to drink.
On average, drinkers in the UK consume alcohol twice a week, getting through nine units, but 42 per cent will indulge more frequently than this.
However, a third admit they would like to cut down on their drinking, partly due to concerns about the potential impact it can have on their health and wellbeing.
And around half of drinkers have successfully managed to do just this at one time or another – having abstained from booze for a month or more.
For 37 per cent, this led to a sustained reduction in the number of units consumed – but 51 per cent soon reverted back to drinking the same amount.
Despite the willingness among some to reduce their intake of alcohol, around half admit they don’t consider the long term health implications of drinking, while seven in 10 don’t worry about the calorie count of their favourite tipples.
This is despite a pint of five per cent strength beer having the same amount of calories as a packet of salted crisps – 215kcal.
And a 175 ml glass of 12 per cent strength wine being equal in calories to a chocolate mini roll – 126kcal.
As a result, 66 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, think more needs to be done to raise awareness of the health risks associated with alcohol.
Dr Scott added: “It’s great to see so many of those polled have abstained from alcohol at some stage.
“But it is more beneficial to our health to drink at a low level throughout the year rather than abstain for one month and then go above the government recommendations the rest of the year.”
YORKSHIRE CANCER RESEARCH’S TIPS FOR REDUCING YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE:
• Have more alcohol-free days in the week
• Set a limit on days when alcohol is consumed
• Decide to spend only a certain amount of money on drinks and stick to this
• Have a low sugar soft drink or water between alcoholic drinks, try low-alcohol or non-alcohol alternatives
• Have smaller measures – for example choose a small wine instead of a large one
• Get moral support from friends and family.