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Drinkers told to have 2 days off

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With the exuberance of Christmas well and truly behind us, the House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee has issued a report advising Britons to give up their daily tipple.

While current alcohol guidelines advise people of the maximum number of units they should consume each week and each day, the committee says that this should be changed to reflect the public's confusion over the unit system - and whether alcohol is actually good for them.

Studies that claim drinking a small amount of alcohol each day is beneficial for our health are much-publicised, but are relevant only to post-menopausal women and men over 40, the committee said.

They would like to see the 25-year-old guidelines refreshed to advise all adults to have at least two tea-total days out of seven - and that does rule out a cheeky glass of red with dinner.

"We suggest that, if daily guidelines are retained, the government consider simplifying the guidelines so that ... all individuals are advised to take at least two alcohol-free days a week," the report said. "This would enforce the message that drinking every day should be avoided, and would helpfully quantify what "regular" drinking means to the public."

Women are currently advised to drink no more than 14 units a week and no more than three units in any one day, while for men the weekly maximum is 21 units, with advice to drink no more than four units a day. A small glass of red wine is classed as 1.6 units.

A study by the World Cancer Research Fund last year blamed alcohol, along with a poor diet, for the higher rates of cancer among British women those in Europe.

Could you go two days a week, every week, without a drink? Let us know what you think to the new recommendations on Twitter.

Words: Anna Pollitt

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