Sunday, 19 January 2014

How much?!

My latest poll collaboration with Mark Wadsworth has attracted an impressive response of over 300 people. For once, the results show a fairly normal distribution, with a substantial number who don’t drink at all (presumably mostly Mark’s readers) and then, amongst those who do drink, a peak in the 21-30 units range which tails off in each direction. Nine people, though, are willing to admit that they routinely drink over 100 units a week. The original poll and associated comments can be seen here.

Given that the official guidelines lay down a maximum of 21 units a week as consistent with a healthy lifestyle, this will no doubt be disappointing to the anti-drink lobby.

I deliberately included the “none of your business” option as people are fully entitled to take the view that questions of this kind are unnecessarily intrusive. Recently, I was asked to complete a health questionnaire by my dentist which included a question on alcohol consumption. While recognising that heavy drinking can be a risk factor for mouth cancer, I took the view that was nothing to do with him, so handed it back with that part left blank.


  1. The notable omission from that table is my preferred option: "I don't feel the need to count" :-)

  2. 12% None?

    I'm getting better at voting multiple times ;)

  3. None = 12% ?

    I think you underestimate the wicked sense of humour of your respondents.

    I would suggest that most of the 12%ers be re-classified into the over 100 bracket.

  4. Let's not forget that, along with '5-a-day', the alcohol unit system was made up without reference to any particular research or evidence.

  5. I voted 76-100, but then I thought we were talking about pints..


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