Moderate drinkers consuming 40 percent more alcohol than they think

Drinking

Many so-called "moderate" drinkers are fooling themselves over how much alcohol they consume, as they are in fact knocking it back at harmful levels, doctors have claimed.

People who said that they were moderate drinkers consumed up to 40 percent more alcohol than they thought, exceeding daily safe guidelines of three to four units for men (a pint and a half of 4 percent beer) and two to three units for women (a 175ml glass of wine), the Daily Mail reported.

A group was asked to describe what sort of drinker they were and how much they drank before keeping a diary for two weeks in which they made a note of every tipple.

On average, they drank the equivalent of an extra large glass of wine a day more than they estimated.

But even though most people recognise the health risks, almost two out of three drinkers have no plans to cut back.

The new figures from the Department of Health come from a snapshot of alcohol consumption released, as this year's Change4life TV ad campaign aims to raise awareness of the health harms caused by regularly drinking over safe guidelines.

It highlighted underestimations in both the amount and frequency that people drink, raising major concerns about the nation's knowledge of alcohol.

Research from the Health Survey for England showed that 80 percent of those that drink too much acknowledge the health risks but think of themselves - at most - as moderate drinkers.

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