FEWER then one in 10 people in South Tyneside are keeping check on how much booze they drink, claims new research.
The new figures also show that just over a third of adults – 38 per cent – didn’t know what their recommended maximum limits of alcohol are.
The latest snapshot of the borough’s drinking habits is revealed as Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, launches a regional campaign, encouraging people to check how much they are drinking and raise awareness of the potential health harms.
The campaign, which is part of the Government’s Change4Life programme, encourages people to check their alcohol intake using an online drinks checker tool, or by downloading a drinks tracker app, which show how simple changes can benefit their health.
Coun Allan West, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “There are still people who aren’t aware of the full health risks associated with alcohol.
“It’s important that we highlight the dangers and ensure people in our community understand units and the safe limits through these health campaigns.
“Many people don’t appreciate that most individuals who suffer from health problems because of their drinking are not alcoholics or binge drinkers, but those people who drink every day, or almost every day, over a number of years.
“Many suffer few immediate consequences, but over time, it takes its toll.”
To avoid health problems caused by alcohol, adult drinkers are being advised to stick to the Government’s recommended limits. That means women should not regularly drink more than two or three units of alcohol a day – about two small glasses of wine – and men should not regularly drink more than three to four units – about two pints of low-strength beer or lager – a day.
Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “Our campaign is essentially aiming to help people cut down.
“Drinking more than the recommended limits on a daily or almost daily basis can have serious long- term implications for our health, including cancer, heart disease, liver disease and stroke.
“In the short-term, drinking too much can cause anxiety, impotence or even death from alcohol poisoning or suffocation from choking.
“Taking a break from drinking or reducing your intake is good for your long-term health – but there are also a range of immediate benefits such as feeling better in the mornings, having more energy during the day and losing weight.”
To check how many units you are drinking, visit www.nhs.uk/Change4Life.
n Measuring the problem ... Page 6
n Today’s vote ... Page 6