Alcohol guidelines: the impact on your health

01.02.2016 Category: General Health Author: Dr Belinda Griffiths

The 2016 update on government alcohol guidelines

With the new guidelines put into place in January we’re keen to find out how people are finding the changes. Have you been able to make the small changes, or are you not bothered by any government recommendations?

Are you drinking more than you realise?

The last set of alcohol guidelines were released in 1995, although there has been updates since regarding drinking in pregnancy and young people. This is much welcomed update for world health experts and anyone concerned with how much drinking can affect their health.
The main point to take away from this recent update is that chief medical officers in the UK now say that new research has shown that even drinking a small amount can cause an increased risk of cancer. For this reason, the amount of alcohol you should consume a week has been reduced and it is now recommended that men and women have the same weekly intake of units per week.

The main updates to alcohol guidelines

  • The guides have been changed to represent how much should be drank in a week to help reduce the idea that daily drinking is healthy
  • Men and women have seen a reduction in the amount they should be drinking on a weekly basis. Both sexes should now drink no more than 14 units per week
  • If you decide to drink your entire 14 units per week, it should be evenly spread across at least three days
  • Your risk of death from long term illness, accident or injury, is increased if you ‘binge drink’ 1 or more times a week
  • It is highly recommended to have ‘non-drinking’ days throughout the week

For further detail of how alcohol can have a negative impact on your health, head to for more information and advice on drinking.

If you are concerned about the amount of alcohol you are drinking and would like to speak to a GP, you can book an appointment online.

How to reintroduce meat and alcohol back into your diet after your January challenges

Read more