THE city council is urging people to cut down on their alcohol intake following national warnings that weekly limits should be reduced to avoid major health problems.
The UK’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, said yesterday the risk of developing cancer and a range of illnesses increases with any amount you drink regularly.
We want people to lead balanced, healthy lifestyles and are realistic in acknowledging that this is likely to include drinking alcoholAlan Knobel
Men and women have been warned to avoid drinking more than 14 units a week.
Last year it was revealed that by 2030, people living in Portsmouth will have the second-worst life expectancy in the south of England – 84.6 for men and women 87.6.
Research has shown it is down to poor lifestyle – including high alcohol consumption.
Also, more people die early from heart attacks in Portsmouth compared to the rest of the country, with health experts warning alcohol greatly increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
The UK coronary heart disease premature death rate is 41 deaths per 100,000 people, but in Portsmouth this stands at 50 per 100,000.
Alan Knobel, substance misuse strategy co-ordinator for public health, at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘We want people to lead balanced, healthy lifestyles and are realistic in acknowledging that this is likely to include drinking alcohol.
‘However, when drinking alcohol becomes a regular daily activity or it involves drinking over a safe limit, it can have negative impacts on the body which go beyond hangovers.
‘Some of the key points from the new recommendations are people should have two to three alcohol-free days a week, pregnant women should avoid alcohol completely and drinking any level of alcohol regularly carries a health risk for everyone.’
Mr Knobel added: ‘We really want to encourage people to be more mindful about the harm to their health which drinking too much brings. Regular drinking can often lead to addiction.’
He said help is at hand for people who want to cut down through the city’s Wellbeing Service. Call (023) 9229 4001.