Saturday, 4 April 2009

How much do you drink?

I recently ran a poll on “How many units of alcohol do you drink in a typical week?” which has now closed. There were 34 votes in total, and the results were as follows:

None: 0
1-10: 2 (5%)
11-30: 13 (38%)
31-50: 9 (26%)
51-75: 3 (8%)
76-100: 3 (8%)
101-125: 1 (2%)
Over 125: 3 (8%)

To be honest, I’m not sure what this tells us, and there has to be a question mark about how accurate the answers were anyway. 15 people, or 43%, said they drank 30 units or less a week, which is roughly within the government “guidelines”, but on the other hand, 3 hardy souls claimed to drink over 125 units a week, which certainly isn’t. One of these seems to have moved his vote from the 101-125 category within the final hour of polling!

It’s interesting that nobody claimed to drink nothing at all – don’t any anti-alcohol zealots read this blog? But apart from that it does seem to follow a fairly predictable ”normal” distribution with a peak in the 11-30 zone.

If we assume beer consumed is at an average of 4.5% ABV, 30 units a week equates to 12 pints, and you would only need to drink 20 pints a week, which in many people’s eyes really isn’t very much, to exceed the supposed “danger” level of 50 units a week.


  1. I do not think 20 pint a week is a lot. I am convinced the government guidelines are too cautious.

  2. When you see "50 units" in print, it sounds a large figure. Frightening, even. That's clever psychology as once you look at what's actually involved-20 pints, it's simply not a worry. However, if you repeat something often enough, it begins to gain credibility.


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