Alcohol consumption falls as people opt to drink at home

Alcohol consumption in the UK is declining and more people are choosing to drink at home, according to official figures.

Women drinking

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) survey of drinking and smoking habits, conducted in 2008, shows that adults consumed an average of 12.2 units a week, down from 13.5 in 2006.

The findings, based on 14,500 interviews, also found that 46% of men and 57% of women said their heaviest drinking day was at home compared to 33% of men and a fifth of women that stated pub or club.

A further report from the ONS confirmed the shift towards at-home drinking with 29% stating they had bought alcohol in a supermarket in 2009, up from 25% in 2008.

Despite the fall in consumption, the ONS found that alcohol related deaths in the UK rose to 9,031 in 2008, from 8,724 in 2008.

The findings come as the Department of Health unveils its latest public health campaign warning of risks of excessive drinking. 

The campaign addresses what the DoH calls the “misguided” belief that is not just binge drinkers that are at risk from alcohol but also at-home drinkers that drink more than the NHS advises. It also explains how alcohol can lead to cancer, heart disease and strokes as well as liver disease.


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