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Saturday, December 10, 2016
Young women most at risk from longer drinking hours warn Methodists
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¬†The Methodist Church has warned that women in their 20s and 30s will be those put most at risk by 24-hour drinking. Average weekly consumption among women aged 16-24 rose from 7.3 units in 1992 to 14.1 units in 2002 - equivalent to an additional large glass of wine, two gin and tonics and a shot of tequila a week. The government puts the recommended maximum for women at 14 units per week Anthea Cox, Coordinating Secretary for Public Life and Social Justice, said: "This shows that young women are drinking more and more. This inevitably risks harm to their well-being, their safety and their long-term health. We want all those concerned in this area to work towards a goal of moderate and sensible drinking." The number of women drinking more than the weekly recommended maximum of 14 units has grown from 10% in 1988 to 17% in 2002, and nearly one in three adults exceed the daily limit of four units for men and three for women at least once a week. Although the Licensing Act is part of the Government's strategy to reduce drinking, Anthea Cox is worried that longer licensing hours send the wrong message. "The longer people can drink," Anthea says, "the more they are likely to drink. Unfortunately the current British culture of drinking is to 'binge' not the gentle concept of cafť style bars that you might see elsewhere in Europe. With such rapid growth in excessive drinking, especially among young women and men, an increasing number are going to find themselves with more than just a hangover." Rachel Lampard, Methodist Secretary for Parliamentary and Political Affairs, welcomed the aspects of the Act giving more power to local authorities and police, but called for further action. "We are glad that the Government are looking at pilot schemes for controlling disorder," said Rachel. "We encourage local people to use the new legislation to take an active part in determining local licensing decisions. We want to see more information, via advertising and labelling, to show the alcohol content of drinks and the consequences of heavy drinking." For the whole population, average alcohol consumption rose from 15.7 to 17 units for men, and from 5.6 to 7.6 units for women in the decade to 2002 "This is a major concern," says Anthea Cox, "and we fear that the new legislation will not have the desired effect of reducing drinking. Among women aged 16-24, the average weekly consumption is now higher than the recommended maximum. This is a big problem. We welcome Government moves such as the Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy, and some of this Act will make it easier to tackle alcohol issues. But you cannot change people's drinking habits by legislation alone, and we fear that this Act will make things worse in the short term." Source: Methodist Media Office
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