Middle-aged tipplers: Over 45s more likely to drink every day than younger people (but guess who's more likely to binge)
22 per cent of men aged 65 and over drank almost every day…but 25 per cent of men aged 25 to 44 binge drink

People over 45 are three times more likely to drink almost every day as those who are younger, according to new figures.

Some 13 per cent of adults over 45 drink practically every day throughout the year compared with four per cent of those under 45, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.

And as people get older they tend to drink more – with just over a fifth of men aged 65 and over drinking almost every day compared with just three per cent of men aged 16 to 24.

middle aged couple

Just over a fifth of men aged 65 and over drinking almost every day compared with just three per cent of men aged 16 to 24

Among women, 12 per cent of over-65s consume alcohol almost every day compared with just one per cent of those aged 16 to 24.

However, the survey for 2010 found younger age groups are more likely to binge drink.

Almost a quarter of men aged 16 to 24 admit drinking more than eight units of alcohol in a single day, as do a quarter of those aged 25 to 44.
This compares with 20 per cent of men aged 45 to 64 and just seven per cent of those aged 65 and over.

Among women, 17 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 admit drinking more than six units of alcohol in a single day, as do 19 per cent of those aged 25 to 44. But this drops to 11 per cent of women aged 45 to 64 and just and two per cent of those aged 65 and over.

Overall, more than half of adults admitted drinking alcohol at least once a week, with 26 per cent drinking at least twice a week.

One in six adults interviewed said they had drank heavily on at least one day in the week before.

But average weekly alcohol consumption has fallen in recent years, from 14.3 units per adult in 2005 to 11.5 units per adult in 2010.

Currently, Government recommendations are for men not to regularly exceed three or four units of alcohol a day and for women not to go over two to three units.

Today’s data shows 36 per cent of men exceeding four units on at least one day in the week before interview, while 28 per cent of women said they consumed more than three units.

Alcohol Concern chief executive Eric
Appleby said: 'These new statistics expose the hidden truth about
alcohol and Middle England.

'Many over-45s drink daily, and those from professional or managerial households drink more, especially women.

'Whilst drinking is decreasing
amongst younger age groups, the middle-aged middle classes are taking
unnoticed risks with their health, increasing their likelihood of
suffering illnesses such as liver disease, stroke and cancer.'

Today’s report also found that one in five people in the UK smoke cigarettes, down from 45 per cent in 1974.

The report is based on data from more than 13,300 adults in the UK.