Study finds drinkers ignore 'meaningless' consumption guidelines

By James Wallin, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Critical thinking, Drinking culture

The study found the public disregarded existing drinking guidelines
The study found the public disregarded existing drinking guidelines
A study has found that consumers are ignoring drinking guidelines because of a lack of scientific basis and because of the disconnect between official advice and average lifestyles.

A paper published in The Lancet​ recommended Government seeks to ensure any advice on recommended alcohol consumption is “useful and meaningful to drinkers”.

Researchers at Sheffield and Stirling universities, in association with the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham, conducted 12 focus groups of drinkers aged 19 to 64 years old. Participants were asked about their awareness of the current drinking guidelines, their views on the purpose of guidelines, how they interpret and use the guidelines, and other strategies they have for regulating their alcohol consumption.

Irrelevant

The study found participants disregarded the drinking guidelines for two main reasons.

First, the guidelines were regarded as irrelevant to their existing drinking practices. Second, participants perceived a lack of information on the scientific evidence behind the guidelines and the consequences of exceeding them.

The study said: "Governments need to ensure that guidance they provide on alcohol consumption is useful and meaningful to drinkers, and understand how people use it to inform their behaviour. Our findings suggest a disconnect between the drinking guidelines and commonplace drinking practices, and a credibility gap that is a barrier to the guidelines’ effective use.

"People responsible for developing and designing drinking guidelines should seek to better reflect drinking practices and evidence concerns when communicating guidance."

Related topics: Legislation

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2 comments

Back the figures up with scientific data and they might be a bit more believable!!!

Posted by steve Naldrett,

The figures are laughed at. People know there is a significant lack of scientific data to back these figures up. If there is data please lets publish it, or amend the figures so they are at relevant to our modern day lives and are backed up scientifically.

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Why are pdrinkers ignoring Drinking Guidlines?

Posted by Shaun,

Its Simple people are fed up being dictated to by the Government and the medical profession, about how to live your life. Also it does not help when every five minutes you get drink so much of this can help cut the risk of that and then you have the recommended maximum weekly units, which fails to take in to account who and what you are and do (size and activity’s and metabolic rates). I know of no one in any of the groups I frequent, who is remotely interested in the recommended maximum units and then drinks accordingly to comply. It’s the Nanny state where’s the cotton wool and bubble wrap

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