Majority of UK adults drinking within recommended guidelines

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The majority of people in the UK are drinking within their weekly guideline amounts for alcohol according to new figures released today.


The research from the Office of National Statistics revealed that 64% of men drank no more than 21 units weekly, and 63% of women drank no more than 14 units weekly.


It also showed that 61% of men and 72% of women had either drunk no alcohol in the last week, or had drunk within the recommended levels on the day they drank the most alcohol.


The figures have been welcomed by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. Chief Executive, Miles Beale, said:


"Today's ONS figures show that significant progress is being made with the majority of people drinking within weekly guideline amounts and overall levels of alcohol consumption continuing to decline.


"Whilst we are concerned by the increase in alcohol related deaths these figures show that the government must target its effort on the minority who drink to excess instead of penalising the responsible drinking majority."


Other findings in the ONS report include:

* 12% of school pupils had drunk alcohol in the last week. This continues a decline from 26% in 2001, and is at a similar level to 2010, when 13% of pupils reported drinking in the last week

* 90% of respondents had heard of units (up from 79% in 1997) and 63% knew what a unit of each type of drink was (up from 47% in 1997)

* 75% of respondents had heard of the daily drinking limits, up from 54% in 1997


The number of male deaths from alcohol increased from 4,439 in 2010 to 4,518 in 2011 and the number of female deaths increased from 2,230 in 2010 to 2,405 in 2011.
The figures also show that alcohol consumption in the UK has continued to decline, down a further 4.5% on last year.


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