Interesting story today over on the Guardian’s health pages – based on some interesting numbers from the Office for National Statistics that give some interesting insight into how we live today.
What with the calls for minimum alcohol pricing, and the recent move to have cigarettes stored out of sight in supermarkets in England and Wales, it seems the zeitgeist is very much a healthy one at this moment in time. And it looks like some of the more radical healthy living initiatives are paying off . You’d be forgiven for thinking – reading some of the headlines of recent years – that the UK’s consumption of less-than healthy things is on the increase. But in fact, that’s not the case. Here are some of the more salient stats that the Guardian’s story covers:
In 1998, the percentage of men drinking 5 or more days per week was (a rather surprisingly high) 23%, nut by 2011 this had dropped to 16% in 2011. For women the reduction was from 13% to 9%. Interestingly, the decrease “only began to be seen after 2007. Could this be a recessionary effect, or is it that we’ve become healthier? Perhaps future studies will shed some light on this. The figures for heavy drinking (people consuming over a certain amount of alcohol units in one sitting during the week prior to responding to the survey question) also fell.
Will alcohol go the way of smoking and end up being something that only a small minority consume in large amounts on a regular basis? We’ll see.