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NEW ALCOHOL GUIDANCE

Middle-aged drinkers are more likely than other age group to drink more than the recommended 14 units a week.

A YouGov poll also shows that they find cutting back on alcohol far harder than eating healthily or exercising.

Doctors say “drink-free” days will improve sleep, help with weight loss and reduce the risk of high blood pressure and cancer.

Dr Julia Verne, a spokeswoman on liver disease for Public Health England said:

“Having a day off drinking gives you a chance to clean your system and give your liver a rest. It also has an immediate impact on your sleep and calorie consumption.

“People have also told us that the idea of a ‘drink-free’ day is much easier to manage than cutting down, say, from one large glass of wine to a small glass of wine.”

The campaign, Drink Free Days is a partnership between Public Health England and the alcohol education charity Drinkaware.

The YouGov poll – by PHE and Drinkaware – surveyed nearly 9,000 adults aged 18 to 85 during May and June this year.

It found that one in five were drinking more than the government’s 14 unit-a-week guidelines.

And two-thirds said they would find cutting down on their drinking harder to do than improving their diet, exercising more or reducing their smoking.

The campaign is part of a growing awareness of the health risks of drinking.

Recently a large global study by the Lancet showed that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, even though the risks associated with one glass a day were small.

In 2016, the government cut the alcohol limits it recommended for men and women to no more than 14 units a week – equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or seven glasses of wine.

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