Posted on 16/01/2012
Prof. Chris Hackley
Professor Chris Hackley appeared on Channel 4 News last week to discuss new recommendations for alcohol consumption. A report by the Commons and Science Technology Committee urges everybody to be advised to take at least two alcohol-free days a week, and is calling for a review of all government guidelines on alcohol in the UK.
Professor Hackley, an expert in alcohol policy and researching patterns of drinking behaviour in the UK, joined Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, Eric Appleby and Presenter Cathy Newman for a live studio discussion.
According to research Professor Hackley and colleagues have conducted, alcohol is seen today by many young people as an essential part of a fun social life. Most damagingly, he says, drinking in order to get very drunk is seen as a normal way to contribute to the fun.
“Britain’s contradictory relationship with alcohol goes back some 400 years. What is different today is that alcohol is treated almost as a normal grocery product in its price and availability. The alcohol industry lobby argues that drinking too much is the responsibility of the drinker, but this ignores the fact that people are getting into bad drinking habits well below the age of legal responsibility.”
According to Professor Hackley, the problem requires a policy shift from government: “It has taken a generation for extreme drinking among young people to become so common. There is no quick fix but stricter controls on alcohol marketing, price and availability have to be part of a wider solution.”
To watch the debate in full click here.