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Chief Medical Officer lower-risk drinking guidelines


In 1994 an Inter-Departmental working group reviewed the Government's sensible drinking message in the light of the latest scientific evidence. The findings were published in a report called "Sensible Drinking" in 1995.


The conclusion of the report was that advice on sensible drinking should be as follows:


Men
The health benefit from drinking relates to men aged over 40 and the major part of this can be obtained at levels as low as one unit a day, with the maximum health advantage lying between 1 and 2 units.


Regular consumption of between 3 and 4 units a day by men of all ages will not accrue significant health risk.


Constantly drinking 4 or more units a day is not advised as a sensible drinking level because of the progressive health risk it carries.


Women
The health benefit from drinking for women relates to postmenopausal women and the major part of this can be obtained at levels as low as one unit a day, with the maximum health advantage lying between 1 and 2 units a day.


Regular consumption of between 2 and 3 units a day by women of all ages will not accrue significant health risk.


Constantly drinking 3 or more units a day is not advised as a sensible drinking level because of the progressive health risk it carries.


It is important to remember that there are occasions when it is not sensible to drink at all.


Units


"A UK unit contains 8g or 10ml alcohol: the amount contained in half a pint of ordinary strength beer or cider or in a small glass of wine, or in a standard measure of spirits".