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Study Reveals People Often Underestimate their Alcohol Consumption

Update Date: Feb 27, 2013 02:01 PM EST

British drinkers appear to be dramatically underestimating the amount of alcohol they consume according to a new finding.  The survey asked British citizens to record how much they drink and found that there was a huge discrepancy between that number and the number of alcohol sold within the nation. According to the numbers, drinkers underestimate their consumption by about 40 percent.

The huge gap between the numbers can be explained by several reasons according to the lead author of the study, Sadie Boniface. Boniface noted that many drinkers who consume an excessive amount of alcohol most likely could not successfully recall their total number of drinks, which is why most medical professionals tend to double the number of drinks provided by an intoxicated patient. Other factors can be attributed to denial, non-alcohol related forgetfulness, and using alcohol for other purposes such as cooking. However, the 40 percent statistic translates to about one bottle of wine per adult per week that is not being recorded.

"Currently we don't know who consumes almost half of all alcohol in England," Boniface noted.

Although the finding does not actually determine whether or not people are consuming the number of alcohol purchased every year, the number is still alarming for the nation. The study revealed that there was a rise in alcohol consumption for both genders and an increase in overall weekly consumption. Men and women increased their drinking by 19 percent and 26 percent respectively. Britain has a bad history with alcohol consumption with an increasing number of alcohol related deaths from 1992-2008.

The research was done at the University College London and the study was published in the European Journal of Public Health.

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