The more successful you are, the more you drink, research finds

Chief executives of big companies and public sector organisations are coping with their stressful positions by drinking the equivalent of almost three bottles of wine a week, new research shows.

Men holding the highest positions drink an average of almost 23 units a week – more than 11 medium (175ml) glasses of wine.

Their consumption exceeds the total recommended weekly limit for alcohol of 21 units and suggests many businessmen and managers may suffer ill health as a result.

Doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professional men are also knocking back above average amounts of alcohol – 20 units a week – according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released yesterday.

Overall, they show that across all social classes about 10 million people are drinking more than the recommended weekly maximum of 21 units for a man and 14 for a woman.

Men are likely to drink twice as much as women. The ONS said it had previously underestimated the amount people were drinking and the real amount was 32 per cent higher. Men were drinking 18.7 units a week and a women nine units, compared with previous estimates of 14.8 and 6.2.

Previous studies have pointed to waning total alcohol consumption, but the researchers became concerned that they had not taken into account the trend for stronger beer and the serving of wine in larger glasses.

People may also be under-reporting or under-estimating consumption. In an attempt to discourage binge drinking, the Government advises women to drink no more than two units a day and men three units a day. A 175ml glass of wine counts as two units and a 250ml glass three units.

Four in 10 men and a third of women exceeded the daily limits at least once a week.

Home was the most popular place for people to drink, with half of the population having drunk there in the past week.

The English drink more than the Scots or Welsh, according to the two ONS reports, Smoking and Drinking Among Adults 2006 and Drinking: Adults Behaviour and Knowledge 2007. Almost a quarter of Britain's 42 million adults exceed the weekly limits. About 60 per cent of the population, 25 million adults, are low or moderate drinkers.

Almost six million people drink no alcohol and their inclusion in the drinking averages means that those who do drink alcohol drink even more than the figures suggest.

Eileen Goddard, the principal researcher, said that although statistics from the alcohol industry based on Customs data indicated that overall alcohol consumption had fallen by 5 per cent between 2004 and 2006, it was possible, given doubts over the research, that the total had actually gone up

Frank Soodeen, of Alcohol Concern, said: "Over the last 20 years middle-class families particularly have moved alcohol from the fringe of their lives to the centre of it. Because it so available they are drinking almost on a daily basis."

Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said he detected evidence that people were drinking more responsibly. "The message of responsible drinking is continuing to get out as the long-term trends continue to improve. It is also clear that the vast majority of people drink sensibly."

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Specialist - Document Management

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A leading provider of document ...

    Recruitment Genius: Legal Secretary

    £17000 - £17800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to work ...

    Recruitment Genius: Ad Ops Manager - Up to £55K + great benefits

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a digital speci...

    The Green Recruitment Company: Operations Manager - Anaerobic Digestion / Biogas

    £40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Operation...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent