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To think the alcohol unit levels....

(66 Posts)
Windingstreamswithoutends Tue 22-Dec-15 17:56:28

...Are so low it means they have to be virtually ignored if you wish to drink alcohol.

For women it's 2-3 units in a day. Which is a glass of wine. Therefore if you have 2 glasses of wine with dinner, even if you are totally sober, you are technically binge drinking with all the stigma and worry that attaches itself to that.

The number of units decided upon as safe is also completely arbitrary and not based on any actual evidence.

These two things together surely mean they are likely to be ignored if you like a drink as they simply cannot be comfortably adhered to.

AIBU to think they should make them more workable to make them more effective?

wasonthelist Tue 22-Dec-15 18:10:01

YANBU. Not sure what the answer is - to listen to some people you think exposure to the smoke from a cigarette 200 metres away would kill everyone instantly - so we end up with a "limit" when real life doesn't work like that.

I know people who drink and smoke to excess with no major health problems (some quite old) and some who have led "healthy" lifestyles who have crippling health problems - sadly it's not so simple (as you say) - but if we have to be advised on "safe" limits, they are always going to look daft in some cases.

VegetablEsoup Tue 22-Dec-15 18:11:54

the recommended levels are there for health reasons.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 22-Dec-15 18:15:05


Different countries have different guidelines, so nothing is conclusive.

It would be good if there became a worldwide., researched guide.

DinoSnores Tue 22-Dec-15 18:17:22

Ah, the Mumsnet approach to stats!

Right, what is clear that on a population level, those who on average drink more than a certain amount have more problems than those who don't that can be associated with alcohol. Let's pick cirrhosis as our example.

What no one can tell you though is your individual risk. Is your liver particularly robust or delicate so that you can drink plenty without problems, or, as in many of the patients we are seeing now with alcohol-related problems, do small but regular amounts of alcohol cause you more problems?

All that health education can do is tell you the population risk and advise what might a safer level of alcohol and then you need to take some personal responsibility for your actions and their outcomes.

Making them "more workable" does just sound like you want to ignore them (that's fine, that's your right) but want to be made to feel better about it.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 22-Dec-15 18:18:34

YABU. Alcohol is not necessary to life. Why do you need to drink more than a glass, or indeed any, alcohol with your meal?

Feel free to ignore the guidelines, your health, your choice.

wasonthelist Tue 22-Dec-15 18:20:15

Didn't some studies suggest that moderate consumption can be beneficial?

Whatsinaname2011 Tue 22-Dec-15 18:20:50

Yabu drinking isn't compulsory.

cashewnutty Tue 22-Dec-15 18:33:17

There will be no point to this thread as all the non-drinkers or 'have a tiny sherry once a year' drinkers will come on to say how unreasonable you are and all the 'enjoy a few glasses of wine each evening' drinkers will stay well away!

MissAlabamaWhitman Tue 22-Dec-15 18:38:19

It's simple.

You're not supposed to 'like a drink'

You're supposed to have a glass, screw the lid back on the bottle and pop it back in the fridge/ rack.

(You're an adult. You don't have to do what you're supposed to)

Cellardoor1 Tue 22-Dec-15 18:38:56

ItsAllGoingToBeFine I take it you survive on a diet of gruel and water seeing as most things beyond that aren't "necessary to life"?

I'm sure you don't, because things like tea, chocolate, fried chips and alcohol may not be needed to survive but they are tasty and enjoyable and perfectly safe in moderation.

TheBunnyOfDoom Tue 22-Dec-15 18:41:37

You won't be totally sober after two glasses of wine, though. You might feel okay, but your reactions will be delayed and you'll be over the drink-drive limit.

Assuming you don't drink everyday, two glasses of wine with dinner a few times of week is not a problem. The guidelines are just guidelines, and the units are there to give you an idea of how much you're drinking. Drinking two glasses of wine on a Friday night does NOT make you a binge drinker.

Wolfiefan Tue 22-Dec-15 18:41:44

You can choose to ignore the guidelines.
You can choose to strictly adhere to them.
You can choose to mostly follow them.

They are recommendations to try and keep people healthy. If you have two glasses of wine the alcohol police won't come and get you. If you drink a bottle a night you are chancing your health.
You're a grown up. You choose.
You can't have guidelines changed because you think they are too low.

TheSecondViola Tue 22-Dec-15 18:42:29

Its not need, its want. I want to drink wine, and beer, and gin.
The guidelines may be there to improve national health but they don't have a lot of grounding in reality. Like op says, two glasses of wine and technically you're a binge drinker. And someone who drinks ten pints and six tequilas is also a binge drinker. It makes a nonsense of categorisation, like putting someone a few pounds over weight in with people who can't leave their house because they can't fit through the door.
Which makes it all more than a little pointless.

I drink more than the guidelines. I'm fine with it. If it shortens my life I'm OK with that too, I have no interest in living a long and alcohol free life. My choice. Make your own.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 22-Dec-15 18:42:51

The unit levels themselves are arbitrary, I remember reading an article a doctor had written saying there had to be a limit, so one was chosen.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 22-Dec-15 18:43:43

Cellar but it is not against the law to drink alcohol. If you want to, you do, the government has simply issued health guidelines outlining what a moderate amount if alcohol is, they don't enforce these guidelines in any way.

There are also guidelines about fried food and chocolate, which people can ignore or not at their risk.

Wolpertinger Tue 22-Dec-15 18:45:21

Making them 'more workable' sounds like you'd just like to change the laws of medicine to suit how much you, personally, would like to drink.

Sadly it doesn't work that way. If you want to drink in excess of the guidelines, please do so, but be aware there is a risk. Alcoholic liver disease in women and middle class social drinkers who never get drunk is increasing - as wine glasses have increased in size and drinking in the home has increased. It's not just done to be spoilsports.

I also love the idea that the units were made up just to annoy you and not on the basis of any research at all hmm

And on that note, I shall have a glass of wine.

Pointlessfan Tue 22-Dec-15 18:48:07

I don't drink at all most days of the week but usually have a couple of drinks on Friday and Saturday. Over Christmas I expect I shall drink slightly more than usual. I'm not going to worry about it, it will balance out with all the days and sometimes whole weeks when I don't drink at all.

EvaBING Tue 22-Dec-15 18:48:23

YANBU - Their recommendations are ridiculous.

enderwoman Tue 22-Dec-15 18:50:27

I thought that the recommendation was weekly so 10 units once a week was fine - 3 units daily was not.

OwlinaTree Tue 22-Dec-15 18:51:20

I agree OP, and have had this conversation many times. The limit is so low that it is impossible to stick to on a night out, so you end up in the 'in for a penny, in for a pound' mindset.

For me, a big night out followed by 6 nights dry is much more workable than a dribble of wine every day!

Surely a safe limit would be none. Any alcohol is probably unadvisable for health, same as ectascy and cigarettes. This 2 units a day is daft and useless IMHO.

TheSecondViola Tue 22-Dec-15 18:57:22

Not at all, alcohol can be very good for you. Red wine etc.

OwlinaTree Tue 22-Dec-15 19:20:15

Yes but a thimble full would probably do that job viola, not a pleasant amount!

Babycham1979 Tue 22-Dec-15 19:20:33

Well, alcohol units might not be made up, but recommended limits are;

All those puritans out there should also note the moderate-to-regular drinkers live, on average, longer than non-drinkers.

Furthermore, despite our media and government's obsession with 'booze Britain', we are way down the league of boozers, internationally;

HermioneWeasley Tue 22-Dec-15 19:28:14

well a unit is what it is

I don't know how the weekly recommended limits were established, but more than a glass of wine a day and a couple more at weekends doesn't seem "not even worth it to me".

If you really feel you want or need to drink more than that on a regular basis it sounds like a dependency issue.

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