Some shock findings here from the Institute of the Bleeding Obvious that young people are more likely to binge-drink, but the middle-aged and elderly are more likely to drink every day. No surprise there, then – anyone with any experience of life could have told them that the young are more keen on the big weekend night out, but once they get a bit older they will settle down into a regular routine of moderate drinking.
But what is concerning about this report is the evidence of the growing demonisation of daily drinking.
When it comes to men of pensionable age, more than one in five opens a can or bottle of beer, wine or spirits every day.Sorry, but in what way is having one or two drinks every day “the abuse of alcohol”? As I’ve said before, if you’re regularly having heavy sessions at the weekend, it may make sense to have a day or two off to allow your liver to recover, but, given the same overall level of consumption, I fail to see how having a drink every day is going to result in any worse health outcomes than staying off it for two days a week and having a bit more on the other five days. Indeed, very often the ritual and routine of drinking is the means by which people keep it under control.
The figures shift the focus away from young people when it comes to the abuse of alcohol.
How long will it be before some granddad is stigmatised as a “problem drinker” because he has a single daily Scotch as a nightcap?
It’s also worth repeating the classic quotation from Kingsley Amis that “no pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home at Weston-super-Mare.”