Minister wants to know why 'millions' drink too much

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Million, Liberalism

Health Minister Anne Milton has called for the question of why people drink excessively to be examined to help tackle alcohol problems. Speaking at...

Health Minister Anne Milton has called for the question of why people drink excessively to be examined to help tackle alcohol problems.

Speaking at the Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum today, Milton said 10 million people in the UK drink too much.

"We have to have a whole-life approach to clearly understand what makes people drink too much," she said. "We need to look actively at the question of motivation."

The minister said legislation had its place in tackling alcohol problems, but added: "We must focus on giving people the right messages so they are able to make decisions about their health."

But she admitted there were still "tensions" between individual liberty and the role of government.

"We can not frogmarch people out of the off-licence," she said.

Chairing the session, former public health minister Caroline Flint said everyone agrees something should be done, but can't decide on the right approach.

She later suggested it was a "mistake" giving licensing to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Meanwhile, Commander Simon O'Brien, former Association of Chief Police Officers lead on alcohol, raised the idea of having an Alcohol Commission to independently assess the evidence available on alcohol.

Related topics: Legislation

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