Maybe in the days of a couple of pints of mild down the Loom Operators Arms. But British chaps are becoming seriously unstuck due to our devotion to the refreshingly cheap products of multinational brewers. There has been a fourfold increase in liver cirrhosis among men aged 45—54 over the past 30 years and an eightfold increase in the 35—44 age group.
That's alkies innit. I can handle me booze. Anyway, it's good for you.
Sorry mate. Today, 13 in every 100,000 men are dying as a direct result of alcohol — twice as many as in the 1970s, according to the Chief Medical Officer. And don't forget the contribution of booze in terms of suicides, redundancies, divorce, strokes, heart attacks, accidents and cancers. As for health benefits, the only winners are middle-aged men and post-menopausal women on one drink a day.
Not as wickedly inconsequential as TV makes it seem then?
Spot on. And remember, alcopop-induced unsafe sex brings many unwanted joys. That's if it doesn't give you brewer's droop. Alcohol Concern wants us to stop bingeing and adopt a more European 'with food' approach to booze. A pint of bitter, by the way, is about 200 calories: that's equivalent to two-thirds of a standard Mars bar.
But look at the money the NHS gets from alcohol tax. Without that, hospitals would close.
In denial are we? Alcohol is a major burden on the NHS. It accounts for one in four of all men admitted to hospital and 'costs' society up to £20bn a year, according to the Cabinet Office. Alcohol Concern wants an extra 1% tax on the liquor trade's £227m yearly advertising spend. Cheers.
Page created on January 11th, 2006
Page updated on January 16th, 2010