England’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, has urged fellow women to ‘weigh up’ the risk of cancer before drinking a single glass of wine.
Dame Sally says she imposes this ‘cost-benefit’ analysis personally.
These comments were made by Dame Sally last week during a Common’s select committee and follow recent alterations to the ‘alcohol consumption guidelines’.
Dame Sally headed up the team responsible for the revision to the Government’s official alcohol consumption guidelines.
The guidelines now say both men and women should not exceed more than 14 units of alcohol a week, and that no level of alcohol consumption should be considered ‘safe’.
Revisions to the guidelines were influenced by Office of National Statistics data revealing a 58% increase in alcohol-induced deaths over the last twenty years. In 1994, there were 9.1 alcohol-induced deaths per 100,000 people. Today this figure stands at 14.3 deaths per 100,000 people.
The guidelines have been widely criticised as a ‘smokescreen’ for Government inaction when it comes to tackling the evils of excessive alcohol consumption.
Others have criticised the alcohol guidelines for being ‘nanny stateism’.
Davis said: “Do as I do when I reach for my glass of wine – think ‘Do I want the glass of wine or do I want to raise my own risk of breast cancer?’ I take a decision each time I have a glass.”
Davis, perhaps revealing her ignorance to the very real problem of alcoholism in this country said: “I don’t know many men who drink half a glass of wine every day.”
A shocking 75% of people suffering from an alcohol-related death in 2014 were male.
In 2014 there were 47.6 deaths per 100,000 males aged between the age of 60 and 64. Clearly older males are disproportionately affected by alcoholism and alcohol-related deaths.
This comes despite recent news revealing men in England drink twice as much as women.
However, Dame Sally said she will consider supporting a move that will force alcohol companies to include calorie information on their products.