2015 Health Survey for England

Posted on: 14th December 2016

The British Liver Trust, has expressed concern at the alcohol and obesity figures released  today in the 2015 Health Survey for England.

In 2015 one in six women and almost a third of men were drinking more than the current low risk weekly guideline of 14 units of alcohol a week. In addition over a quarter of adults in England (27% of men and women) were obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or higher and a further 41% of men and 31% of women were overweight.

Being overweight and drinking too much alcohol are the two main reasons for the fact that liver disease is now the third leading cause of premature death.

The British Liver Trust is a member of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK who campaign to reduce the damage caused to health by alcohol.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alliance, said in response to the survey:

“Drinking above the low risk guideline places people at increased risk of illnesses like heart disease, liver disease and cancer."

"The most recent UK guidelines on low-risk drinking, and the reasons behind them, have simply not been communicated adequately. The government needs to ensure the public are aware of the current drinking guidelines, as well as the harms associated with alcohol. The public have the right to know, so they can make informed choices about their drinking."

"The government should communicate the risks in two ways:

Firstly, the government should develop mass media campaigns outlining the risks. These could include TV and radio advertisements, social media campaigns, and messages on public transport.

Second, the government should introduce mandatory labelling of all alcoholic products, containing clear and legible health information about the harms associated with drinking."