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Tue 17th Dec 2013 - Breaking News - ONS: Alcohol consumption drops again
Alcohol consumption continues to drop: Alcohol consumption continued to fall in Great Britain in 2012, the Office for National Statistics said today, with 58% of people aged 16 and over saying they drank alcohol at least once in the week before being interviewed, down two percentage points on 2011. Between 2005 and 2012 the proportion of men who drank alcohol in the week before being interviewed fell from 72% to 64%, and the proportion of women fell from 57% to 52%. Those aged 16 to 24 were least likely to have drunk in the last week, at 49% of those interviewed, and those aged 45 to 64 were most likely, at 65% (men 71%, women 59%). However, the survey said, the number of those aged 16 and 17 who said that they drank alcohol in the past week was “low”, and if their replies were taken out, there was no difference between the numbers of 18 to24s and those over 65 drinking in the past week. The proportion of adults who drank on at least five days in the week before being interviewed has also been falling, from 22% in 2005 to 14% in 2012 among men, down two percentage points from 2011, and from 13% to 9% among women, unchanged from 2011. In 2012, people aged 65 and over were most likely to have drunk frequently, both for men (23%) and women (14%), and young people aged 16 to 24 the least: 5% for men, 3% for women. Young people up to 24 were more likely to have drunk “very heavily”, defined as more than 12 units for men, equivalent to five pints of 4% abv beer, and 9 units for women, equal to four and a half 175ml glasses of wine, at least once during the week, with similar proportions for men (26%) and women (28%). Only 3% of those aged 65 and over were very heavy drinkers. Very heavy drinkers were five times more likely than other drinkers to have drunk strong beer/stout/lager/cider, and more than twice as likely to have drunk spirits or liqueurs, on their heaviest drinking day in the week before interview. A quarter of smokers said they had drunk very heavily at least once during the week, more than twice as many as non-smokers (11%). White people were the most likely to have drunk in the past week, at 62%, and people from an Asian background the least, at 19%. Almost two thirds – 64% – of female drinkers drank wine on their heaviest drinking day in the last week, making it the most popular type of drink amongst women. The exception was the 16 to 24 age group, where female drinkers showed a preference for spirits/liqueurs over wine. Six out of ten male drinkers drank normal strength beer/lager/cider/shandy on their heaviest drinking day, and this was the most popular type of drink among all ages of male drinker. One in ten of female drinkers aged 65 and over drank sherry/martini on their heaviest drinking day; a higher proportion than any other age/gender group. Eight out of ten (83%) adults who said that they drink alcohol nowadays rated their general health positively, against 68% of non-drinkers. Those who did not drink at all and those who drank every day in the last week were least likely to rate their health positively, with only 56% of people who drank every day rating their health positively.
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