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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 00:50 GMT
Britons 'in denial' over alcohol
Person with drink
Younger people were the biggest binge drinkers, the survey found
Britons are in denial about the effect of drinking excess alcohol on their health, according to a survey.

Only 12% of adults questioned worried about the effect of drinking too much alcohol on their health, according to insurer Legal & General.

Respondents were more worried about stress and lack of sleep and exercise.

YouGov interviewed a total of 4,640 Britons about their health and welfare concerns over the last three months in the survey for the insurer.

These results further prove that Britain has a culture of binge drinking
Lesley King-Lewis
Action on Addiction

The research suggested that 16 to 24-year-olds were the biggest binge drinkers, with 32% of men and 24% of women in that age group admitting to excess drinking.

A total of 26% of full-time students were concerned about the effects of drinking too much on their health, compared with 12% nationally, the survey indicated.

Legal & General's Chris Rolland said: "The record levels of alcohol-related illnesses being reported in British hospitals and the low level of concern of drinking too much expressed by our research findings would suggest that there is a gap in Brits' understanding of the effect drinking too much can have on our health."

Responsible drinking

A Department of Health spokeswoman said the government was making great efforts to encourage responsible drinking.

"We recently launched a multimillion-pound responsible drinking campaign - Know Your Limits - with the Home Office which urges people to take responsibility for their drinking levels," the spokesman added.

"We are currently working on establishing a voluntary agreement with the drinks industry on the labelling of alcohol with sensible drinking messages."

Lesley King-Lewis, Chief Executive of Action on Addiction, said: "These findings are very worrying. As a nation, we need to be far more aware of the harmful effects that excess drinking can have on our health.

"Our concern is that many people don't realise that drinking too much alcohol simply exacerbates problems like stress and disturbed sleeping patterns - issues that survey participants said they were very worried about.

"These results further prove that Britain has a culture of binge drinking.

"Alcohol consumption in the UK is increasing, and we are sitting on a time-bomb that could threaten the health of the nation for generations to come if we do not act quickly."

Alcohol risks and limits
17 Nov 06 |  Health

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