People should avoid drinking alcohol on consecutive days if they want to avoid health conditions such as cancer, heart disease or cirrhosis of the liver, a Government health quango has said.
Guidelines drawn up in a 92-page paper by the Public Health England, a group set up to promote healthy living in the UK, due to be released in the near future will recommend a “one day on, one day off” when it comes to drinking alcohol.
The report will say that drinking alcohol regularly, even if it only just over the “low risk” guideline – the equivalent of two pints for men, can lead to health problems in later life.
Public Health England will encourage Britons to abstain from alcohol if they have exceeded the recommended daily allowance the day before - 2-3 units for women, 3-4 for men.
The 92-page paper says: "Daily drinking is a key contributor to increased risk, so it is possible that promoting a simple approach such as never drinking two days in a row would have a positive impact."
Currently, the recommendation from Chief Medical Officer, the government’s most senior health advisor, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week.
The new guidelines, however, suggest that three to four days a week might be more sensible.
Public Health England's proposals have received criticism from politicians and those in the medical profession.
GP Martin Scurr told the Daily Mail: "Giving up alcohol on alternate days is not something most doctors would recognise as a helpful strategy to curb excessive drinking.
"It's hard to see how this plan from Public Health England will persuade excessive drinkers to rein back."
Conservative MP and former minister Gerald Howarth said the advice was "completely unrealistic" and an example of the "nanny state".