People lie about how much they drink, according to a new study by University College London.
Researchers at the university came to the conclusion after they compared alcohol sales figures with surveys about how much people claimed they drank.
The researchers found that there was a rather significant shortfall between the numbers — 40 percent, to be exact. BBC reports that they believe as many as three-quarters of people are drinking more than the recommended daily amount.
The current recommendation by the UK Chief Medical Officers is four units per day for men and three units a day for women. One unit is a small glass of wine or about half a pint of beer.
Weekly alcohol limits for men are recommended to be 21 units, while the recommendation for women is 14 units. The study found, however, that 19 percent more men than previously believed were regularly exceeding the daily limit. For women, the number was 26 percent.
The Telegraph notes that the researchers’ data shows that the so-called average drinker is taking in at least the weekly limit. So, what could be the harm in people lying about hos much they drink? Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians, stated:
“The UK’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol is putting more and more strain on our hospitals as we struggle to cope with the rising tide of harm caused to health by alcohol misuse.”
But the alcohol industry argued that the study paints a “hypothetical” picture that is based on old data about alcohol consumption. Lead author Sadie Boniface disagrees. She explained:
“We know that what people say they drink only amounts to about 60 percent of alcohol sales. This is a pretty consistent picture over time and around the world.”
This means that people all of the world could be lying about how much they drink per week. The study was published in the European Journal of Public Health.
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