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Average alcohol consumption gradually fell in many countries between 1980 and 2009 with an average overall decrease of 9%. During the same three decades, the United Kingdom has seen an increase in alcohol consumption of over 9%.

Booze is part of British culture and I used to be someone that many described as “liking a drink”. I still occasionally drink now, but not in the excessive way that I used to.

Alcohol is now 45% more affordable than it was in 1980 and 34% of men and 28% of women drink more than recommended on at least one day in the last week. If you exclude those who don’t drink at all the figure rises to 52% of men and 53% of women!

What impact does booze have on our health?

Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions. These include: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression.

It is having an effect on our waistlines too.

Reason 1: The calories in alcohol

Alcohol has LOTS of calories. A new survey shows that binge drinkers consume an average of 1,476 extra calories in drink. That’s roughly the same as eating 5 McDonalds cheeseburgers.

Alcohol has LOTS of calories. A new survey shows that binge drinkers consume an average of 1,476 extra calories in drink. That's roughly the same as eating 5 McDonalds cheeseburgers.

Reason 2: Getting drunk and eating junk

About half (51%) of those included in the survey who drank alcohol said crossing the threshold had made them binge on fast food. On the night, they consumed about 2,829 calories extra in food! That is more than 12 Mars bars.

Reason 2: Getting drunk and eating junk

Reason 3: Hangover Food

The day after “a night on the town”, the drinkers ate on average 2,051 extra calories. That is nearly as much as the calories in 15 cans of “full fat” Coke!

The day after "a night on the town", the drinkers ate on average 2,051 extra calories. That is nearly as much as the calories in 15 cans of "full fat" Coke!

Reason 4: Not burring any of the calories

According to the survey, the drinkers decided not to try and burn off the excess calories with a run or a gym session. Instead they opted to stay in bed, watch TV and share their hangover stories on social media.

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