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Alcohol is not essential for health and is not recommended for children under 18 years.

One standard drink (equal to half a pint of beer or lager, a small glass of wine and a single measure of spirit) contains about 100 - 150 calories.

For low risk drinking the weekly limits are:

  • Up to 11 standard drinks a week for women (112g of pure alcohol)
  • Up to 17 standard drinks a week for men (168g of pure alcohol)  

These are weekly limits, not targets to be reached. Do not take more than five standard drinks in one sitting and have three alcohol free days during the week.

Drinking more than the weekly limit can increase your weight and your blood pressure, putting you at risk of heart disease and stroke. It can damage your liver and can increase your chances of getting some types of cancer.

Alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding and is best avoided while trying to conceive a baby.

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