Published: 00:02, 06 November 2017
It will come as no surprise to learn that beer is the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink in the world. Ranking third in popularity, after our beloved tea and water, we’ve been drinking the stuff for almost 10,000 years.
In fact, there's a receipt for the purchase of beer surviving from before the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza.In the medieval period, beer was viewed as a more nutritious alternative to water, with folk choosing to drink Small Beer. It became so popular in 14th century London that there was an alcohol vendor for every 12 inhabitants of the city.
Despite the large quantities of Small Beer consumed, it contained very little alcohol, only 0.75%. Today a typical pint of higher-strength beer averages 5.2%, so it’s fair to say we must keep a closer eye on our booze than our ancestors did.
Present guidelines advise men and women not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis to avoid damages to our health. This is the equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer; one and a bit for every day of the week with a rest at the weekend. But how many of us stick to this?It has been estimated that alcohol misuse costs the NHS around £3.5bn a year in England, with the costs in Kent falling between £71m and £108m.
While deaths from most diseases are decreasing, liver disease has been on the rise in Kent since 2002, growing steadily to 43%. There are now an estimated 341,000 in Kent who are at risk or have alcohol-related health problems.
This includes approximately 14,000 people who are severely dependent on alcohol and in need of urgent help from treatment services.A recent report has shown that for those people who regularly exceed the recommended drinking levels they are doing it without realising. And alongside the health problems, it can also have a negative effect on people’s work life and relationships.
Do you know how much alcohol you are regularly consuming? Find out this Alcohol Awareness Week by taking the Know Your Score quiz below and find ways to cut down if you need to.
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