Count 14 to keep track of your drinking

The campaign urges us to keep track of the number of units of alcohol we are drinking. (Photo: Alistair Linford)
The campaign urges us to keep track of the number of units of alcohol we are drinking. (Photo: Alistair Linford)

People in the Southside are being encouraged to think about how their weekly drinking adds up, as part of a campaign to raise awareness of recommended alcohol limits.

With guidelines stating that men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, the ‘Count 14’ campaign has been developed to demonstrate what 14 units actually means in terms of alcoholic drinks.

A unit is the best way to describe the quantity of pure alcohol in a drink. Fourteen units is the equivalent of:

• Six pints of medium strength beer, lager or cider (4 per cent ABV, 568ml);

• Six medium glasses of wine (13 per cent ABV, 175ml);

• Seven double measures of spirits (40 per cent ABV, 50ml).

The guidelines also highlight that if people do regularly drink around 14 units a week, it should be spread over three days or more – with some alcohol-free days – to reduce the risk of developing health problems.

Linda de Caestecker, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde director of public health, said: “It’s important people know the guidelines and the risks they may face if regularly drinking more than that.

“If you think you are regularly drinking too much and would like to change your drinking habits, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.

“Confide in or talk to a friend, colleague or someone you trust about ways you could tackle this. It’s also helpful to keep a drinks diary for a month to record where, when and how much you drink as you could be underestimating it.

“Lastly, consider laying off alcohol for a while to give your body time to recover and you time to think about your alcohol use and what changes you want to make whether it be drinking less alcohol, drinking less often or maybe stopping drinking completely.”

Research to support the campaign highlights only 17 per cent of people currently know what the alcohol guidelines are, and 53 per cent agree they don’t really think about the amount of alcohol they drink.

However, 57 per cent agree that monitoring the amount of alcohol they consume is important, and over a quarter (27 per cent) stated they are looking at ways to try and cut down the amount they drink.

For further information on the guidelines, visit the Count 14 website