Research reveals lifetime alcoholic trends amongst UK adults
19th August 2011
A shock poll by leading UK health & wellbeing mutual, Benenden Healthcare Society, reveals that the average Brit will shell out a wallet-busting £58,201 over a lifetime in order to fuel their booze habits.
In liquid terms, the average Brit will down more than 5,800 pints during their adult lifetime, as well as glugging 8,700 glasses of wine and 2,900 bottles of cider - translating to around 456 drinks a year, costing £962.
But along the way, they’ll suffer from 726 hangovers.
Lawrence Christensen, Head of Communications & Strategy at Benenden Healthcare, said: ‘Day by day, we may not notice our drinking habits and may not think about what it’s costing us. But add it all up and the amounts become quite staggering.
‘Recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption are 3-4 units per day in men, equating to around a pint and a half of 4% strength beer, and 2-3 units in women - a single 175 ml glass of 13% strength wine for women.
‘This means that by getting through 456 drinks a year on average, many Brits are sailing perilously close to the wind and, in many cases, most likely exceeding guidelines.
‘The yearly financial cost of this level of consumption also gives pause for thought, with £962 a year being no small sum for many families in the UK.
‘Benenden Healthcare wishes to draw attention to these levels of alcohol consumption, which not only pose a medical risk but a lifestyle risk in terms of financial cost. With 726 hangovers and being £58,201 out-of-pocket, ‘enjoying a drink’ regularly takes on a new dimension.’
Andrew Meredith, Medical Director at Benenden Hospital, an independent hospital and subsidiary of the Society, said: ‘This survey highlights the dysfunctional relationship many of us have with alcohol. The results can be seen in our town centres every week-end, in A&E departments where alcohol related conditions and injuries are a large part of the workload and the increasing numbers of admissions with alcohol related liver disease.’
The representative study quizzed adults on their drinking habits and attitudes:
- Brits have an alcoholic drink on at least three nights a week and consume nine drinks in total
- A majority (57 per cent) enjoy a drink in the comfort of their own home. Just 17 per cent said they regularly consume alcohol in a pub
- Four in ten of us believe we need a drink to 'unwind', while one in six said they drink alcohol in the evening 'out of habit' and a similar number said it was 'escapism'
- Four in ten Brits admitted they can’t go longer than a week without having a drink, but one in ten said they would struggle to make it through two days without cracking open a bottle
- One in five polled admitted they can’t have fun out on a night out if they don’t drink, 12 per cent said they ‘drink to get drunk’ and more than a third have got home without remembering how
- Two thirds said they drink more on holiday – putting it down to relaxing more and being with friends – and slurp on at least four alcoholic drinks a day
- It also emerged the average person enjoyed their first tipple at the tender age of just 14
Breakdown of results
Average Alcohol consumed
Alcohol consumed over average
Eight pints of beer or lager
12 glasses of wine
Four bottles of cider
Eight shots of spirits
Two glasses of liquor
Two glasses of champagne
5,808 pints of beer or lager
8,712 glasses of wine
2,904 bottles of cider
5,808 shots of spirits
1,452 glasses of liquor
1,452 glasses of champagne
Source for guidelines on alcohol consumption: www.drinkaware.co.uk
The survey of 2,000 Brits aged 18+ was carried out by online market researchers www.OnePoll.com between 28th July and 2nd August 2011.