Thursday 31 December 2009

Home drinkers can’t count

The latest piece of festive joy from the Righteous is a warning that people drinking at home are pouring themselves measures much larger than the official “units” and thus underestimating their alcohol consumption.

Most people who drink spirits at home pour well over what they would get in a pub when trying to give a single measure, figures suggest.

The government's Know Your Limits Campaign found that among 600 people tested, the average amount poured was 38ml, compared with a standard 25ml.

Those aged 31 to 50 - the most generous pourers - gave an average of 57ml.

For a person thinking they were drinking 7.5 units a week, the extra measures would equate to 17 units...

…When asked to pour the equivalent of one unit into a large (250ml) wine glass, the average amount poured was 157ml - almost exactly twice the correct amount of 76.25ml.

In a smaller wine glass (175ml), it was 131ml, which is still 55ml more than the correct standard measure.

Surely the real reason for this is not ignorance but the fact that people couldn’t give a toss about the made-up official guidelines and their teeny units. And does anyone really think that 25 ml of spirits or 76ml of wine represents an acceptable or satisfying drink?


  1. Oh dear. Do pubs typically sell single measures of spirits or do they tend to sell doubles? In this case, people are pouring less than the 'correct' measure. A single just results in a dirty glass with a couple of drips in the bottom.

    And what's correct about the measures, anyway? They're there for consistency, not spurious health reasons.

  2. Of course many pubs now serve 35ml spirit measures anyway. I tend to take the view that I will get ten drinks out of a 70cl bottle of whisky, which equates to double 35ml measures. Each drink is 2.8 "units" which is almost exactly the same as a pint of 5% beer.

  3. Soon we will have a guvmint health official in every home there to ¨advise¨ on healthy alcohol consumption...

  4. More self-righteous nonsense from the "Nanny State", I wonder what they'll be dictating to us next?

  5. Martin, Cambridge1 January 2010 at 17:57

    The reason the "Nanny State" -the people you and me elect - go on about extreme alcohol assumption and lack of exercise is that they can equate the largest demand on the NHS and other emergency services, which in turn force up the taxes I resent paying at current levels.

    So how do I get people to take care of their health, and avoid me paying taxes for their bad decisions ?

  6. It would appear that Mr Cambridge has been taken in by the nonsense spouted by the health fanatic, kill-joys currently running the country. He also misses the point as it is not the function of government to dictate to its citizens how to conduct their private lives, any more than it is its function to confiscate money from its citizens in the form of taxes.

  7. Paul

    I don't believe there's a major alcohol (or obesity) problem in this country any more than you do, judging from what I observe around the country.

    However, there is a minority of drinkers who DO drink at dangerous levels, and use up NHS resources I'd rather see not spent, unless we want to move to a system where people with high risk lifestyles pay more tax (as is aruably the case with smoking).

    I'm only happy that people do what they like as long as I don't have to pay for the consequences.


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