Young people fuzzy about drinking limits

Beer - BPS conference
Recent research has found that young people are unaware of government drinking guidelines.
10 September 2009

Young people are unaware that government guidelines would class them as binge drinkers. This is the finding of Dr Richard Cooke from Aston University and Dr Falko Sniehotta from the University of Aberdeen who will present their research at the Division of Health Psychology, part of the British Psychological Society, annual conference today, 10th September 2009.

325 students completed a questionnaire that tested their understanding of government guidelines on drinking thresholds.

The results showed that the students overestimated what constituted binge drinking. The government guidelines state eight units for men and six for women; the students estimated 12 units for men and nine for women. 59 per cent of the participants did not consider themselves binge drinkers.

Dr Cooke commented: “Recently, concern has been increasing about the levels of alcohol use, especially by young people. The government has invested in several campaigns to help young people ‘know their limits’ and keep to safe levels of drinking.
“However, the results of this study suggest that the messages are not being received accurately and that we need to rethink how to communicate recommendations on safe drinking levels to young people more effectively.”
The British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology annual conference is taking place at Aston University, Birmingham from 9 - 11 September 2009.