Thursday, 19 May 2016

The middle-aged booze 'epidemic'

The Daily Mail claimed that 'Half of middle-aged British men classed as problem drinkers' over the weekend. I've written an article for the Spectator explaining why this is piffle.

It turns out to be based on a survey of just 476 people. The assertion that ‘more than half of those surveyed believe it will have no impact on their health’ is based on an even smaller number: just 160 people.

To put those 476 people into context, there are more than eight million men aged between 45 and 64 in the UK. Claiming that ‘Half of middle-aged British men classed as problem drinkers’ (the Daily Mail) and ‘Half of middle-aged men drink too much’ (the Telegraph) on the basis of such a small sample is a stretch, to say the least.

Fortunately, we have official statistics with a much larger sample from the Health Survey for England. Those figures show that men aged 45 to 64 drink an average of 18 units a week — not the 37 units claimed by Drinkaware. It also found that six per cent of men aged 45 to 64 drink more than 50 units a week — not the 10 per cent claimed by Drinkaware.

Do read the rest.

I've been a bit slack about mentioning my Spectator posts here recently. There are a few to tell you about...

Mexico was meant to prove a sugar tax worked. New figures tell a different story.

What public health hates to admit: being ‘overweight’ is perfectly healthy.

Prince died at 57. That's young even by rock star standards.

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