Tuesday 28 March 2017

Cheap plonk to be outlawed?

Drinking during pregnancy can lead to long-term harm for the baby.
Drinking during pregnancy can lead to long-term harm for the baby.

The amount to which people should limit their alcohol consumption weekly in Ireland is being revised and due to be reduced.

That is combined with a series of proposed measures, including the outlawing of cheap drink by Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

However, the UK is ahead of us in revising its guidance and it has some interesting advice:

The benefits of moderate drinking for heart health are not as strong as previously thought and apply to a smaller proportion of the population - specifically women over the age of 55.

In addition there are more effective methods of increasing your hearth health, such as exercise.

The risks of cancers associated with drinking alcohol were not fully understood in 1995, when the last advice was issued. Taking these risks on board, it can no longer be said there is such a thing as a "safe" level of drinking. There is only a "low risk" level of drinking.

The previous guidelines did not address the short-term risks of drinking, especially heavy drinking, such as accidental head injury and fractures.

In pregnancy the UK expert group thought a precautionary approach was best and it should be made clear to the public that it is safest to avoid drinking in pregnancy.

Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, and the more you drink the greater the risk.

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