Drinking just a little bit more than the recommended alcohol levels increases risk of serious illness including heart disease, stroke and cancer, warns health chiefs.
For some, it is easy to slip into the habit of having an extra one or two drinks each day, especially at home. But a new NHS Change4Life campaign is set to highlight the fact that just two large glasses of wine or two strong pints of beer a day can triple the risk of developing mouth cancer and double the risk of developing high blood pressure.
A national survey revealed that most people are unaware of the serious illnesses caused by drinking more than the NHS recommends. For example:
- 85 per cent did not realise it increases the risk of developing breast cancer
- 68 per cent did not realise it increases the risk of bowel cancer
- 61 per cent did not realise it increases the chance of pancreatitis
- 60 per cent did not realise it increases the risk of mouth, throat and neck cancer
- 31 per cent did not realise it increases the risk of high blood pressure
- 37 per cent did not realise it reduces fertility.
As part of the campaign, an online calculator is available on the Change4Life website to help people work out whether they need to cut down on their drinking. The website also has handy hints and tips on how to make changes - such as having booze-free days, not drinking at home before going out, swapping to low-alcohol or alcohol free drinks and using smaller glasses.
For more information, including the online calculator and handy hints and tips, visit www.nhs.uk/change4life.
NFDC portfolio holder for Health and Leisure, Cllr Di Brooks welcomed the Change4life campaign, which includes TV adverts. She said: "The online drinks calculator is a really useful tool for finding out whether your consumption of alcohol is putting your health at risk. I hope anybody concerned will visit the website and follow the advice on ways to cut down."