One in four drink too much, official figures show.
Ten million people in England – one in four adults – are putting their health at risk by drinking too much, official figures have shown.
Litres of alcohol per person aged over 14 (PDF)
This data is significant because per capita consumption effectively measures the amount of ethanol consumed by a person, which is what the system of units is supposed to do. But while units have to be clumsily estimated, the per capita system measures what has actually been bought and therefore, one has to assume, been drunk.
According to the Institute of Alcohol Studies - no friends of the booze - total alcohol sales have fallen by 13% since 2001/02**. According to the ONS, the number of teetotallers has risen from 9.5% to 14% since 1992. And pubs are closing at the rate of 53 a week. And per capita consumption of pure alcohol currently stands at 11.2 litres, much less than Luxembourg (15.6 litres) and, indeed, less than 14 other European countries. That's your ‘Booze Britain’ for you.
*These figures are shown in table 2.5 of Statistics on Alcohol, England 2009
** Page 8 of Drinking in Great Britain (PDF)
In his report, Sir Liam noted that over the preceding 20 years, the country’s disposable income had risen faster than alcohol taxation, and alcohol had become ever more affordable.
When inflation is factored in, British households' disposable income increased from 100 to 208.8 between 1980 and 2008. In other words, people can afford to buy more than twice as much as they could in 1980.
Between 1980 and 2008, the price of alcohol increased by 283.3%. After considering inflation (at 21.3%), alcohol prices increased by 19.3% over the period.
Teenage drinking epidemic 'causing misery'
Britain needs to wake up to the epidemic of binge-drinking among teenagers and the misery it is causing thousands of families, one of the country's most senior policemen has warned.
He criticised the drinks industry for targeting the young and exporting its "negative costs on to the streets, hospitals and into the criminal justice system".
A survey of 13,000 young people by the Trading Standards Institute found the number of teenagers who drank weekly fell from 50% in 2005 to 38% this year.
Fewer teenagers are drinking regularly - partly because it is becoming harder for youngsters to get hold of alcohol, a Trading Standards survey suggests.
One in five pupils (20%) [11-15 years] had drunk alcohol in the last seven days, a proportion which has declined from 26% in 2001.
The proportion of pupils who have never drunk alcohol has risen since 2003, from 39% to 46% in 2007.
Trading Standards North West, which carried out the poll, said it intended to write to the firms behind these drinks to "seek clarification of the plans for action to reduce their appeal to young people".
The number of people admitted to hospital in England with alcohol-related problems has risen by 69 per cent in five years, to 863,000 in 2007-08, although changes to data collection — which now include secondary diagnoses, such as alcohol-related injuries — have contributed to the surge in cases.
“These figures use a new methodology reflecting a substantial change in the way the impact of alcohol on hospital admissions is calculated. The new calculation includes a proportion of the admissions for reasons that are not always related to alcohol, but can be in some instances (such as accidental injury).”
Overall, the number of alcohol-related admissions increased with age in 2007/08, rising from 49,300 admissions among 16 to 24 year olds to 195,300 admissions of people aged 75 and over.
Alcohol-related admissions to hospitals in England have soared by more than 50 per cent over the last five years, latest figures revealed last night.
Startling data from the Department of Health showed there were 863,257 drink-related admissions in 2007-08, up sharply from 569,418 in 2003-04 - the year Labour's reforms ushered in round-the-clock drinking.
Drunk for £1: Anger as leading supermarkets sell lager for 22p a can
Supermarkets are selling beer at a cheaper price than water, fuelling concern over their role in Britain's binge-drinking crisis.
Despite repeated public health warnings, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda now offer lager at just 22p a can - less per litre than their own brand-mineral water and cola, and cheap enough to allow someone to get drunk for just £1.