back to article Scottish? You're drinking too much

Over one million Scots are drinking at "potentially harmful levels", according to Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (Shaap) which reckons the real figure could be even higher. Shaap based its calculations on a 2003 survey which found that "63 per cent of male drinkers said they had consumed more than four units on …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Government Guidelines?

    Schmovernment guidelines.


  2. Iain


    As a race we've been drinking too much for centuries. We'll continue to drink to much, mostly coz it's fun. We also smoke too much, have the most appalling diet and excercise way too little. We're also aware that we're not immortal and that we've all got to die of something. So, please leave us alone to enjoy our booze, fags and deep-fried pizza - we're happy.

  3. Christopher Cowan


    So more than 4 units is excessive and harmful? An average unit of alcohol for wine is 1.6, so two small glasses is your limit, drink half a bottle and you are going to die from your exessive drinking.

    Why is the government allowing 75cl bottles of wine to be sold, they have 9.6 units of alcohol in them! They should ban them immediately.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    4 Units...

    Heaviest drinking day.. 4 units.. that's about 2 pints of lager if I'm not mistaken.

    When I have been out and about I'm more likely to consume the equivalent of about 10 pints on my hardcore drinking days... I am scottish..

    Is the Paris angle the fact that all the ladies looks like her after heavy consumption?

  5. Lloyd

    You see that

    Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems, theys muy besh frendsh thay ah, I luv em I du.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    63% drink more than 2 pints when they have a drink !!

    Cart me off to Betty ford then. I'm getting rather tired of research which definitively proves that if you've had a wine-gum in the last month you're a raving alcho and cirrhosis is imminent.

    I've been informed that 3 pints is binge drinking, when I was a lad 3 pints was a business lunch. While attempts to improve the /health of the nation/ are laudable perhaps a concentration on working hours and stress levels might be more appropriate. not many stressed French people out there with their 35hr weeks!

  7. Ian Bremner
    Dead Vulture

    That'sh a load of, thingy, erm. RUBBISH <hic>

    I mashelf am Scottish and I do not drink excessitively. I enjoy the odd tipple every now and then, but oI am cutting down by only having a half bottle at breakfast.

    Yer ma best mate yraway

    me an you apl! me an you against the WURRRRLD!!!

  8. GettinSadda

    Heavy dringing?

    >Shaap based its calculations on a 2003 survey which found that

    >"63 per cent of male drinkers said they had consumed more than

    >four units on their heaviest drinking day of the previous week",

    >while "57 per cent of women drank more than three units on their

    >heaviest drinking day of the previous week".

    So, more than 1 pint on any night = drinking too much?

  9. David S

    @Mr Cowan

    You're on the right track, but you don't go quite far enough. Obviously limiting wine to half-bottles makes sense froma safety perspective, but then the determined unhealthy-levels-drinker might be tempted to buy more than one half-bot in order to pursue his self-destructive ways.

    So clearly we need legislation that (a) limits wine sales to "safe" quantities (half-bottles) and (b) makes it illegal to buy more than, oh, two half-bottles in a single transaction.

    It is, after all, vitally important that the State protects its charges (the people) from themselves. Who knows what they might get up to otherwise?

  10. John Latham

    Rise of The Nannies(tm)


    New category of paranoid reporting needed, RoTN(tm), strapline "Live slow, die old, leave a wrinkly corpse".

    Icon: Paris Hilton's wrinkly bits. Er, maybe not.


    (founding member of the neoLibertarian Resistance Army)

  11. Haviland


    The heaviest drinkers drank more than 4 units?

    They must hae serveyd some sort o' namby-pamby tourists frae England.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scotch Eggs

    I just got a scotch egg from Sainsbury's which DIDN'T HAVE THE EGG IN IT!

    Clealry a result of excessive drinking in scotland, they're obviously so pissed they forgot the egg.

  13. Jason


    They got the smokers, we all knew what was next...

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Coome outsoide and say thaat!

    "They must hae serveyd some sort o' namby-pamby tourists frae England" eh?

    You coome down 'ere and say that on a gallon o' scrumpy, ye water-drinking skirt-wearing highland girlies!!!

    ... Oh, aah, I'll get me sheep

  15. GettinSadda

    Conflicting messages


    "French researchers found that middle-aged men who had had one heart attack and who drank two or more glasses of wine regularly were 50% less likely than non-drinkers to have a second attack."


    "Nowadays, a standard glass of wine is served in a 175ml glass and is often up to 13% ABV, which adds up to 2.3 units."

    So, to reduce your risk of a second heart attack, take 4.6 units of red wine per day. (32.2 units per week)

    If this is true then why is it that (according to "The UK Government advises that men should not regularly drink more than three to four units a day and women not more than two to three."

    Is it just that nobody really knows?

  16. Marvin the Martian

    When they came for the smokers ...

    ... I said nothing because I'm not a smoker.

    But now they come for the drinkers, I'll shout "Hey, I know where some potheads live! Get them first!"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A quite important difference between smokes and drinks are that the guy besides me doesn't get drunk because I drink - unless it is a drinking match, in which case we will break the 4 unit limit in a matter of minutes.

    I don't get why the government is fussing so much about it. If they think it is a problem - just increase taxes on alcohol! How hard can it be? Oh, they don't want to suffer the wrath of their electors, you say? Then they should go have a pub lunch to gather the courage!

    Another Coopers, please. ;)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look at it this way

    I thought we were due to have a top heavy society with loads of old people. Let us smoke and drink, problem solved.

    Who wants to live forever anyway apart from those daft americans.

  19. James

    All this preaching NuLabour

    nannying is enough to drive you to drink. Oh....

  20. Hayden Clark Silver badge

    Shaap! Down Shapp!

    ... got it already....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    prohibition anyone?

    If a lot of alcohol is bad for you (4 units a day and you're going to die) then it logically follows that alcohol in general at any level is bad for you. So, if we want to protect people from alcohol we must ban it immediately and completely. Same with obese people, we must ban food at once. And cigarettes, the only reason we didn't ban that was because we make a lot of money off it - err, sorry, it simply wasn't enforceable at this time.

  22. Mike Holden

    Where's the rest of the booze gone?

    That other missing half of the sales that nobody has owned up to drinking? I drank it all, on a particularly good night out last week.

  23. supermeerkat
    Dead Vulture

    Poor drinkers, it's not their fault (probably)

    A recent government report stated that individuals are not to blame for obesity. I wonder how long it will be before a similar report comes out absolving drinkers from any responsibility for the harm they cause themselves.

  24. Gavin


    Any chance we can rename this organisation to Scottish Health Education on Ethanol Problems (Sheep) ?



    Aberdeen (A scot!)

  25. TeeCee Gold badge

    Scots get pissed - read all about it!

    Other news today:

    Animal welfare group research proves that Bears are defecating in woods.

    Ecumenical agreement derailed by Pope's refusal to renounce Catholicism.

  26. Andy Worth


    Scots drink a lot? What a revelation in discovering that!

    Did these people get paid to "research" and state the bloody obvious?

  27. bob, mon!

    It's a heritage thing

    My ancestors, teetotalers every one, left Scotland 300 years ago (chased out, but sobriety was only part of it).

    Figuring about eight generations between John Paisley and me, I think I need to knock back about 32 units a day to restore the family honor.

    Fill 'er up again, please.

  28. John A Blackley

    Not France

    Let me see, the weather's miserable for most of the year. 'Service' is something that bulls do to cows. People work themselves into a coma to buy ever-increasing amounts of tat and there are too many 'managers' with the management skill level of a galley drummer. 'Entertainment' for too many people consists of either endless servings of Eastenders-quality televised pablum, being jammed into a basement room ("club") with hundreds or strangers with questionable hygiene practices or sitting in a freezing, windswept stadium watching 22 'footballers' practice their mediocre skills.

    The national mood is 'depressed', the national sport is skepticism and the national government is a clique of toon cooncillors who couldn't get work in the private sector.

    So now, ""Alcohol policy offers another opportunity for the Scottish Government to show leadership once again, and we believe the Scottish people will fully support the government in their efforts."

    Awae an' bile yer head, ya wee nyaff.

  29. Ferry Boat

    When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

    It's the middle class Scots I feel sorry for. The government says it's after the middle classes to get them to cut down their drinking. The middle class in Scotland must be as drunk as a bicycle.

    This unit thing is rubbish. Other countries have different measures of a unit and the number of them it's 'safe' to drink. Nobody really knows. Anyway, if I don't eat chocolate and don't drink coke but I eat lots of broccoli and drink tea can I drink more alcohol? I don't suppose that argument works for Scots though, didn't another survey 'find out' that they eat bad food too.

    Eat what you want, drink what you want. The fire brigade are always there to hoist you up for fifteen quid.

  30. Campbell


    "As a race we've been drinking too much for centuries. We'll continue to drink to much, mostly coz it's fun."

    and because it's pissin' wi' rain all the time, where else would we but but in the pub or at the fitba' and then the pub.

    You know, I often wonder how the Human race ever survived countless centuries without these jokers. Them and lawyers.

  31. Karl Lattimer

    This just in...

    from the department of the bleedin' obvious.

    The scottish people like their drink. Please be aware so do geordies, the irish and the french are fond of wine.

  32. Matt


    the Japanese love their after work drink (it's compulsory) I remember one show I saw where one guy they stopped was the Managing director of a company apparently he'd finished off a large number of beers + several sakes

    Another person when asked "arn't you scared you'll die of liver failure"

    she replied "no I'm scared I'll die of stress"

    That's a feeling I can relate too. Do gooders get fucked I'm going to get tanked.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    The Heck with Booze -What About <gag>HAGGIS</gag>?

    I'd say that Scots are more in danger from this deadly toxin than from alki- alkca- alchol... *hic*

    Of course, this is probably just a diversionary tactic. Did you note how close the name is to "Sheep"?

  34. Anonymous Coward

    re: Burb...

    WARNING: Consumption of alcohol can ACTUALLY cause pregnancy

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Independence Now

    As a Scot, it makes my blood boil that the RoI and Finland beat us at alcohol related disease just because the English are holding us back.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    The Heebie Jeebie

    [Rab C]: What a business, all because I take a wee drink, eh... Tell yae wan thing - see all this shoutin? It does not half give yae a helluva thirst.

    [Pink Elephant]: [handing Rab a bottle of booze from off screen] That's the game, pal, you tell them. There's nuthin the matter wie a wee drink.

    [Rab C.]: [pleased] Oh... Who the hell are you by the way?

    [Pink Elephant]: Ah c'mon, Rab. Use your imagination

    [the camera away cuts to the stranger who is revealed to be a pink elephant in a suit and cap]

    [Pink Elephant]: I'm the heebie Jeebie Rab!

  37. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Interesting conundrum

    Scotland is part of a democracy, right ? And we all know that the Scottish love their pubs. So why is the government tearing into them like that ?

    It's the government of the people, right ? And if THE PEOPLE want to drink themselves silly, well that is the popular choice.

    Because if the government deems that it is irresponsible for it to leave the people to their time-honored pastime, then it should also wake up to the fact that it is irresponsible to waste so much of the same people's money in fruitless, overly complicated and unjustifiable IT projects such as, but not limited to, NHS, DNA database, biometric ID thingies, and so on and so forth.

    I mean, if you're going to pretend to be responsible on one subject, well you pretty much have to go the whole way, don't you think ?

  38. Sweep


    "Shaap believes a ban on supermarket cut-price drink promotions could help address the problem."

    Utter shite, surely the UK already has some of the highest prices for alcohol in Europe. Raising alcohol prices would either make people more skint and more in need of a drink, or produce more smack-heids like in Norway where it more financial sense to shoot up than to drink up.

    He concluded: "......we believe the Scottish people will fully support the government in their efforts."


  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: where it more financial sense to shoot up than to drink up.

    Already does, I'm sure there was a similar report a bit back saying how the price of E's was so low some young hooligans were going out and getting all loved up rather than fighting and spewing in the street.

    How will we maintain the reputation of being europe's pit bull without booze?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A little safer than Enbalming fluid, still's suicide on the installment plan.

  41. Sweep

    @ JonB

    Personally I think all alcoholic drinks should have MDMA added as a matter of course. Would make walking up Sauchiehall St at 4am on a Sunday morning a wee bit less dangerous. Watching the CCTV footage on Police Camera Action would be braw too.

  42. John Dow

    Mair Shite

    Given that the gubbmint's current BMI based obesity calculation system classes body builders as obese, it's no great surprise that they're classing someone who once saw a photocopy of a drawing of a pint of beer as an alcoholic.

  43. anthony bingham

    ...and if they were not "drinking" what would they be doing ( to excess) ?

    Human Thingys are strangely wired creatures and have a serious need to do something to aleviate the boredom of self awareness that amounts to trying to escape from self ... a sort of "stop the world I want to get off" or " stop the world I am really pissed off" . So we see that if it was not the "juice" it could be nail biting , violent scratching or maybe Commenting on the Register ( a manic bunch of Danglers if ever there was)

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