Balance welcomes latest report warning of drinking too much alcohol

Colin Shevills of Balance.
Colin Shevills of Balance.

A report highlighting the dangers of drinking too much has been welcomed.

Officials at Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, have welcomed a new study of 600,000 drinkers published in the Lancet Medical Journal which shows that drinking above the Chief Medical Officers’ low risk weekly drinking guidelines increases the risk of fatal heart diseases.

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “The study in the Lancet Medical Journal is a very important and detailed report which provides clear evidence that regularly drinking above the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended maximum weekly guidelines of 14 units is likely to shorten a person’s lifespan.

“Alcohol can have serious consequences for our health, including an increased risk of heart failure, stroke and fatal aneurysms.

“We have all heard the claims that red wine is good for the heart but this study shows that any benefits of drinking apply only to non-fatal heart disease and are cancelled out if we drink above the low risk guidelines.

“The robust evidence in the study shows that there is an increased risk of death if we drink above around 12.5 units a week.”

“Many people are unaware of the risks associated with alcohol consumption and our health, even at relatively low levels.

“This is particularly worrying when we know over one in four drinkers in our region are drinking above the low risk CMO guidelines.

“When the CMO guidelines were introduced two years ago they came under attack by sections of the alcohol industry.

“Even now, over two years since they were introduced, very few alcohol labels carry the low risk guidelines.

“We all have a right to information about what we are consuming and in fact 83% of people in the North East are supportive of health warning labels on alcohol products.

“It’s high time the industry started listening.”