Such knowledge has taken centre stage following a stream of alcohol related articles appearing in the press (notably ones highlighting the health concerns surrounding our love of a few drinks) and the recent nationwide Department Of Health ‘Know Your Limits’ campaign.
Press articles have to be viewed with some scepticism but recently The Evening Standard published an article warning that soaring alcohol intake is responsible for an increase in breast cancer in the UK and the Daily Mail printed statistics that 1 in 3 employees go to work with a hangover.
The Market Place, a 6 year old bar situated near Oxford Circus, launched Measure Up yesterday. This is a (working) week-long initiative running through to Friday 13th June 2008 to make their customers more aware of the number of units they consume whilst at the bar.
An initiative that the industry should perhaps replicate on a more permanent basis? On beer mats?
The Market Place will place on the glass or bottle of every alcoholic drink served during the Measure Up Week that specifies the number of units in the drink. Although no mention is made of the recommended maximum units for men and women.
But sensible drinking is the key . The owner of Market Place, Richard Bigg, explains:
We may be in the business of selling booze, and essentially rely on the drinking public’s desire to keep drinking, but we say little and often! Binge drinking isn’t good for anyone, and you only have to look to the Mediterranean to see how right they’ve got it: people live longer and with healthier hearts because they have a good diet and drink a glass or two of wine with most meals, food being key to slow down the absorption rate. Very rarely will you see a Spanish person intoxicated. We’re not trying to launch a policing exercise or an AA clinic, but how many people actually know how many units they consume in an evening? We value our customers and want them to be aware of the facts and ultimately live longer, sustainable lives!”
Customers will also be invited to choose what size drink they want rather than automatically be served the larger option by bar staff
In short a bar being-active in helping to educate their customers by making them more aware of their alcohol unit consumption.
The Department of Health advises that men should not regularly drink more than 3 – 4 units of alcohol per day, and women should not regularly drink more than 2 – 3 units of alcohol per day. A unit of alcohol is 10ml of pure alcohol. The list below shows the number of units of alcohol in common drinks:-
- A pint of ordinary strength lager (Carling Black Label, Fosters) – 2 units
- A pint of strong lager (Stella Artois, Kronenbourg 1664) – 3 units
- A pint of ordinary bitter (John Smith’s, Boddingtons) – 2 units
- A pint of best bitter (Fuller’s ESB, Young’s Special) – 3 units
- A pint of ordinary strength cider (Woodpecker) – 2 units
- A pint of strong cider (Dry Blackthorn, Strongbow) – 3 units
- A 175ml glass of red or white wine at 13 percent strength – 2.3 units
- A pub measure of spirits – 1 unit
- An alcopop (e.g. Smirnoff Ice, Bacardi Breezer, WKD, Reef) – around 1.5 units