The proportion of men drinking more than 21 units a week on average fell from 29% in 2000 to 23% in 2006

The proportion of men drinking more than 21 units a week on average fell from 29% in 2000 to 23% in 2006

A recent survey in the UK has revealed that alcohol consumption in the country is on the decline.

The Office for National Statistics' General Lifestyle Survey (GLS) has revealed that the proportion of men drinking more than 21 units a week on average fell from 29% in 2000 to 23% in 2006. This trend is continuing, according to the report.

Between 2006 and 2009, the proportion of men drinking more than 21 units a week fell from 31% to 26%, while the proportion of women drinking more than 14 units a week fell from 20% to 18%.

Around 15,325 adults aged 16 and over were asked on how many days they drank alcohol and how much of each of six different types of drink (normal strength beer, strong beer, wine, spirits, fortified wines and alcopops) they drank on their heaviest drinking day. These amounts were converted into units of alcohol to give an estimate of the number of units the respondent consumed.

The report states that, during the 1990s, there was a slight increase in overall weekly alcohol consumption among men and a more marked one among women. However, following an increase between 1998 and 2000, there has been a decline since 2002 in the proportion of both men and women consuming alcohol.

On the average weekly measure, heavy drinking is defined as consuming over 50 units a week for men and more than 35 units a week for women. Between 2006 and 2009, the proportion of men who drank more than 50 units a week fell from 8% to 7% and the proportion of women who drink more than 35 units a week fell from 5% to 4%.

However, the report notes that the falls in average consumption are partly due to a rise in the number of people who abstained from alcohol altogether. In 2009, 85% of adults consumed alcohol and 15% of adults abstained from drinking alcohol. Abstinence was more common among women (18%) than among men (12%).

To view the full report, click here.