Thursday 8 August 2013

Things public health say that simply aren't true...


'The idea of an older woman with a glass of sherry is way out of date. It is more likely to be a bottle of wine a day.’

This from Andrew Langford of the British Liver Trust is a classic of the public health genre. Old ladies may not be drinking a little glass of sherry but, let's be clear, most of them - nearly all of them in truth - are not drinking a bottle of wine a day. They are more like to be drinking no alcohol.

According to the ONS (this is for 2009) just 4% of women aged over 65 had drunk more that six units on any occasion in the week prior to survey. And 74% of such women had consumed less that 3 units. Indeed 57% of women over 65 had not touched a drop.

And just for completeness, the average weekly consumption for women aged 65 or over is just 4.6 units.

There may be a few elderly women with a drink problem but it is not a hidden' public health scandal. Not even a little one.



Ivan D said...

There is probably a nugget of truth buried somewhere under the rhetoric in that drinking patterns have changed in older people but as you correctly point out, the rest is hysterical over the top nonsense created by people who are unfortunately paid to do that sort of thing. Langford is a former nurse who now makes a living being a mouthpiece for whatever "charity" will have him. There are many people like him. They make a living from charities that very few people support or want around so they feel the need to say something. The DM article also included a quote from Alcohol Concern which is a prime example of a despised "charity" propped up by the DoH for years.

Jonathan Bagley said...

25% of the BLT's income comes from the Lottery, effectively tax money, and the NHS. I remember when the lottery began, there were very strict rules as to what the money raised could be spent on - for example, capital projects and not running costs. Nowadays much of it is spent on patronising and lying to those who buy the tickets