UK: Majority of drinkers stick to guidelines, but alcohol deaths up - figures
The majority are sticking to guidelines, the report found
The majority of adults in England are drinking within the recommended weekly guidelines, but alcohol-related deaths are rising, latest official figures show.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) annual alcohol report, published today (30 May), found that, in 2011, 64% of men and 63% of women had drunk below the maximum recommended weekly unit level. For men, government guidelines state a limit of 21 units a week, while for women it is 14 units a week.
Three-quarters had heard of the daily drinking limits, up from 54% in 1997, according to the study, which collates information from previous reports.
However, the number of deaths "directly related" to alcohol rose by 3.8% between 2010 and 2011. Female deaths were up by 7.8% to 2,405 in the period, while male mortality rates increased by 1.8% to 4,518.
Miles Beale, the Wine & Spirits Trade Association's chief executive, said the figures show that "significant progress is being made" with the majority of people drinking within the guidelines.
He added: “Whilst we are concerned by the increase in alcohol-related deaths, these figures show that the Government must target its effort on the minority who drink to excess instead of penalising the responsible drinking majority.”
The British Beer & Pub Association said the figures showed that "key trends are moving in the right direction".
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