Thursday, 3 May 2018

Regular excess drinking can take years off your life

Regularly drinking above the UK alcohol guidelines can take years off your life, 

A study of 600,000 drinkers estimated that having 10 to 15 alcoholic drinks every week could shorten a person's life by between one and two years and drinking more than 18 drinks a week could shorten it by four to five years.

The 2016 UK guidelines recommend no more than 14 units a week, which is six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine.

Scientists, who compared the health and drinking habits of alcohol drinkers in 19 countries, modelled how much life a person could expect to lose if they drank the same way for the rest of their lives from the age of 40.

They found people who drank the equivalent of about five to 10 drinks a week could shorten their lives by up to six months.

The study's authors also found drinking increased the risk of cardiovascular illness, with every 12.5 units of alcohol people drank above the guidelines raising the risk of:
  • Stroke by 14%
  • Fatal hypertensive disease by 24%
  • Heart failure by 9%
  • Fatal aortic aneurysm by 15%

Drinking alcohol was linked with a reduced risk of non-fatal heart disease, but scientists said this benefit was wiped out by a higher risk of other forms of the illness.

Previous studies have suggested that drinking red wine can be good for our hearts, although some scientists have suggested these benefits may be overhyped.

Another Danish study found drinking three to four times a week was linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

"This study makes clear that on balance there are no health benefits from drinking alcohol, which is usually the case when things sound too good to be true," said Tim Chico, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Sheffield, who was not involved in the research.

"Although non-fatal heart attacks are less likely in people who drink, this benefit is swamped by the increased risk of other forms of heart disease including fatal heart attacks and stroke."

Recommended limits in Italy, Portugal, and Spain are almost 50% higher than the UK guidelines, and in the USA the upper limit for men is nearly double this.

Read full story BBC

Japanese scientists make alcohol from wood

Researchers at Japan’s Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute have developed an alcoholic beverage made from tree bark, the institute says the beverage resembles the qualities of an alcohol aged in wooden barrels.

The  alcohol is made by pulverising wood into a creamy paste and then adding yeast and an enzyme to start the fermentation process, when complete the alcohol is 15% abv, according to Tokyo’s Straits Times.

By avoiding using heat, researchers say they are able to preserve the specific flavour of each tree’s wood, and have already produced variants from trees including cedar, birch and cherry.

Having experimented with both brewed and distilled versions of the alcohol, the team said that the alcohol presents better as a distilled beverage, with 4kg of cedar wood producing around 3.8 litres of liquid.

The government institute aims to commercialise the product with a private-sector partner and have the liquor on shelves within three years.

For more information on this story please visit thedrinksbusiness

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Surrey shops praised for challenging underage alcohol buyers

Nine outlets in Camberley, Frimley and Mytchett were targeted by police and Surrey Health Borough Council on 29th March. 

The test involved an underage customer being sent into each of the shops. They were told to try and purchase alcohol without ID. All of the shops refused to sell the customers alcohol.

Surrey Heath Licensing Officer Rab Carnie said: “This is an excellent result with all of the premises challenging the underage test purchasers.

"It shows that the outlets are heeding the advice to ensure they operate within the conditions of their licence and it also demonstrates that the message about responsible trading is being listened to following our ongoing operations.”

The head of the Association of Convenience Stores James Lowman said the successful test was "good news."

According to their website, staff members should be trained to ask the question "does the person in front of me look like they might be under the age of 25 years?". If the answer is yes, they should challenge the customer for ID.

For more on this story please visit

Friday, 23 February 2018

Cheshire drink-driver tells court 'driveway too long to walk'

Barbara Woodward, a drink-driver, begged magistrates not to ban her from the road because her £6m mansion's quarter-mile driveway was too long for her to walk. The 56 year old also claimed she would struggle to do community service as she had never worked in her life.

Police arrested her for being three times the limit at 09:00 GMT in Chelford, Cheshire on 17 November, after they found her slumped at the wheel of her £79,000 Mercedes G-Class 4x4, with her make-up smeared and slurring her words.

The court heard she had tried to buy sparkling wine at a petrol station to make bucks fizz for friends.
The Petrol station attendant Sharid Butt described her as "stumbling all over the forecourt"

He called police after she drove off at 5mph and staggered out of another shop.

The court heard it happened two days after her husband's funeral.Mrs Woodward said: "He did everything, and then when he died I had to take over. I had never paid a bill in my life."

She denied drink driving but was banned for two years after being convicted at Stockport Magistrates' Court.

Magistrates ordered her to do 15 days' rehabilitation and fined her £560 with £760 surcharges.

For more information and images on this story please visit BBC

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Low and no-alcohol lifestyle booms

About 5 million people will drink their first beer or glass of wine that they have consumed in a month next week as “dry January” comes to an end.

However for an increasing number of people it will be an entirely dry year, as low and no-alcohol becomes the lifestyle of choice for many people.

Tesco says its sales of low-alcohol wines have more than doubled. The supermarket’s wine expert Alexandra Runciman, says: “Consumption of alcohol in the UK down is down by 18% over the last decade and we’re seeing more customers looking for a quality wine-drinking experience without the alcohol.”

Drinking rates among British adults are at their lowest since 2005. A recent Office for National Statistics survey found the proportion who drank alcohol at least once a week declined from 64.2% to 56.9% last year. Almost 100,000 people officially signed up to the “dry January” challenge this year – about 40% up on 2017 – while millions more joined in unofficially.

The trend is particularly prevalent among young people: more than a quarter of 16- to 24-year-olds do not drink.

Stuart Elkington, founder of specialist online store Dry Drinker, says his sales have more than doubled in the last 12 months. He believes an improvement in the taste of low- and no-alcohol beers and wines has combined with a general desire to cut calories, be healthy and avoid waking up with a hangover.

For more on this story please read the Guardian

Friday, 26 January 2018

Sugar tax ‘could increase amount of alcohol that we drink’

A new study suggests that the introduction of the sugar tax on soft drinks could have the unintended consequence of driving up alcohol consumption.

Experts examined if price hikes to soft drinks could lead to higher rates of purchase for other drinks – such as alcohol.

The model used data from the expenditure of 32,000 British households in 2012/13 and analysed six million drinks purchases including milk, juice, high-sugar drinks and alcohol.

The experts found that people from poorer homes were more likely to buy high-sugar drinks and spirits while richer homes were more likely to buy juices and wine.

Taking this model in to account it would indicate that an increase in the cost of diet or low-sugar drinks could lead to hikes in the sales of beer, cider and wines.

But an increase in the price of medium-sugar drinks could actually reduce sales of alcoholic drinks, according to the study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

For more on this story visit metro

Friday, 8 December 2017

'Crashed car' displays urging you not to drink or drug drive this Christmas

FIREFIGHTERS are warning motorists who have overindulge in Christmas spirit to keep out of their cars with a dramatic display.

Cars which appear to have crashed with the boundary walls of two Bournemouth fire stations are now in place.

The cars are in place in Redhill and Springbourne alongside banners which read: 'Drink, drugs, drive - don't do it!'

The displays will stay in place until the new year, and have been marked as ‘police aware’ in case members of the public believe them to be a real accident.

Source : bournemouthecho