BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 11:27 GMT
Newsnight alcohol special

Too easy to lose track...

A little in fear of the headlines it might create we publish below five examples of how easy it is to drink more than your recommended limit of alcohol in a week.

Dr Gray Smith-Laing

As a light-hearted experiment ahead of our special programme, five members of the Newsnight team kept track of what they were drinking via the drinkaware diary for the whole of last week.

To their surprise, and a little to their shame, each of them totalled up their number of units and discovered they had downed more than is generally recommended.

Below are their feeble attempts to account for themselves.

Weekly recommendation for men: 21 units
Weekly recommendation for women: 14 units

Peter Barron
Units: 29

The week started well enough, I even managed an entirely dry day on the Tuesday. But things went adrift at the weekend. I might have made it if I hadn't gone to see Spurs play on Sunday - pre-match roast lunch with a Bloody Mary and two glasses of red wine. At 1-1 with 15 minutes to go we said we'd go for a pint if Spurs scored. They did - we had to.

Simon Enright
Programme producer
Units: 28

It was the Christmas lunch with colleagues from BBC Daytime that really destroyed my attempts to stay "on budget". I know - and now have proof - that drinking at lunchtime is a mistake. I suppose I could just give up the evening glass of wine with dinner but... it is so enjoyable.

Stuart Denman
Units: 24

As the drinkaware site doesn't feature a comprehensive list of cocktails it wasn't always easy to keep track of my units, but I did my best. I thank Newsnight for keeping me on the straight and narrow - being required to work on the Sunday I refrained from drinking too much at a dinner party the night before. Just as well, as I feel it only right that Peter Barron tops this list.

Liz MacKean
Units: 21

I've always seen sherry as such a polite sort of drink that I've assumed it doesn't account. The drinkaware website put me right. It turns out that little glass amounts to a unit and half, sending me well on my way to the weekly total. Perhaps I'll give it up in the New Year... on the other hand, it's such a small glass.

Kirsty Wark
Units: 18

A very good friend of mine says that the first glass of good wine is like nectar and the subsequent glasses taste nothing like as good. That is true but sadly doesn't stop me going for a second glass. Though I try a couple of nights a week where I have no alcohol at all, at the weekend when there's a combination of great food and even better conversation, the wine just keeps flowing. Though I have to say that compared with my colleagues I appear to be a saint.

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