Bloomberg News

U.K. Lawmakers Urge Two Alcohol-Free Days a Week for Health

January 09, 2012

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- A panel of British lawmakers said the government should recommend people have two alcohol-free days a week for health reasons.

Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee concluded the Department of Health should review its current safe-drinking guidelines, which recommend not regularly exceeding four units of alcohol a day for men and three for women. A unit is equivalent to about half a British pint (0.6 of a U.S. pint) of low-strength beer, a 25-milliliter measure of whisky and half a 175-milliliter glass of wine.

The committee was looking at whether there was a case for increasing the limits in the light of evidence about some health benefits from alcohol. It cautioned against such a change.

“Unfortunately, public understanding of how to use the guidelines and what an alcohol unit looks like is poor, although improving,” Andrew Miller, the opposition Labour Party lawmaker who chairs the committee, said in an e-mailed statement today. “The evidence we received suggests that the guidelines should not be increased and that people should be advised to take at least two drink-free days a week.”

--Editors: Andrew Atkinson, Eddie Buckle

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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