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Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2008, Official Report, columns 325-6W, Alcoholic drinks: Misuse, how many (a) females and (b) males were considered to be binge drinkers in each of the last five years. (193928)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) general household survey provides an estimate of the percentage of men and women who drank more eight or six units respectively than on at least one day in the previous week, a measure of binge drinking.

The following table gives figures for the percentage of men and women who were considered to be binge drinkers for the last five years where figures are available. It is important to note that in December 2007, the ONS described improvements in the ONS method for estimating alcohol consumption.

The improved method takes account of increases in the alcoholic strength of wine and the sizes of glass used, and uses better estimates of the alcoholic strength of beers, lagers and ciders. Figures for 2005 and 2006 were re-calculated using this improved methodology. Figures for years prior to 2005 were not re-calculated.

Percentage of men who drank more than 8 units on any 1 day in the previous week

Percentage of women who drank more than 6 units on any 1 day in the previous week

Old method

2002

21

10

2003

23

9

2004

22

9

2005

19

8

2006

18

8

Improved method

2005

23

15

2006

23

15