Drinking too much, too often

Moderation is key - a new campaign wants us to think about how much we drink Keystone

The Swiss authorities are trying to get drinkers to think about how much alcohol is too much in order to stay healthy, rather than warning people off the booze altogether.

This content was published on April 23, 2015 and agencies

The latest alcohol campaign from the health ministry aims to encourage people to question how much they drink.  According to the ministry, in Switzerland in 2013 one in five people over the age of 15 consumed a high-risk amount of alcohol. They drank either too much or too often.

For men, drinking more than five glasses of beer or wine at a sitting or four glasses of beer or wine on a daily basis is what constituted a risky level of alcohol consumption.

For women, it is about four glasses of wine at a sitting. A chronically high level of alcohol consumption is deemed to be drinking more than two glasses of wine or beer per day.

In a comparison with Switzerland’s neighbouring countries, the most recent statistics show that the Swiss drink more than the Italians and a little more than the Austrians, but less than their German and French neighbours.

The new campaign also advises people to try to make at least two days a week alcohol free, and stresses the major role it plays in affecting people’s health.

It is estimated that in men aged between 15 and 47, alcohol was a factor in one in ten deaths. For younger men alcohol-related deaths were mainly due to injuries sustained, in middle age they led to illnesses of the digestive tract, and in older men the alcohol-related deaths were connected to cancer.

The link between alcohol and cancer is something that the campaign wants to highlight, following a survey last year where it became apparent that this factor was little known.

Among women it is estimated that around 4% of breast cancer cases can be attributed to alcohol consumption.

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In compliance with the JTI standards

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