Doctors call for drinks to show units of alcohol

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Doctors are calling for all beer, spirits and wines to carry labels indicating how many units of alcohol they contain, in an attempt to reduce the number of young people dying from cirrhosis of the liver.

Doctors are calling for all beer, spirits and wines to carry labels indicating how many units of alcohol they contain, in an attempt to reduce the number of young people dying from cirrhosis of the liver.

All bottles and cans should carry health warnings about the dangers of excessive drinking and information to help consumers keep within sensible limits, the British Medical Association is expected to tell the Government tomorrow at its public health conference.

The warningswould have to include "easily interpretable" information on the number of units in a typical measure, the recommended weekly limits, and the dangers of over-consumption.

Dr Peter Tiplady, a consultant in public health for Cumbria and Lancashire health authority, said the details would help consumers control their intake.

He said: "We have a very good public health policy about how many units people should restrict themselves to, 14 units a week for women and 21 for men. But you need to know how many units you are drinking. Labels give the alcoholic content in percentages; this would just make things clearer."

Alcohol abuse contributes to heart disease, impotence, low fertility, cancer, liver damage and psychiatric problems.

Research shows an alarming increase in binge-drinking, with 37 per cent of men aged between 16 and 24 and 23 per cent of women regularly drinking twice the recommended safe levels of alcohol.

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